An advertisement for payday loans featuring TV personality Kerry Katona has been banned in part for irresponsibly suggesting the money could help to fund a celebrity-style lifestyle.
The ad for PDB UK, trading as Cash Lady, featured Katona saying: "We've all had money troubles at some point, I know I have. You could see your bank and fill in loads of forms, but is there an easier way to get a loan... So if you need extra cash go to www.cashlady.co.uk. Fast cash for fast lives."
The ad drew 29 complaints that it was irresponsible because it focused on Katona's financial problems and encouraged people in similar situations to borrow money.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) also challenged whether the ad was misleading and irresponsible because it promoted itself as an alternative to banks while offering an APR in excess of 2,000%.
Cash Lady said Katona was selected as its "face" because she had experienced money troubles in the past and their customers would be able to relate to her.
It said its loans were limited to £300 and were therefore aimed at those experiencing relatively low-level short-term financial difficulties with a need to bridge a gap between paydays.
However the ASA said references to Katona's financial problems within the ad "had the potential to encourage vulnerable viewers with financial problems and/or restricted credit from seeking to resolve them through the payday loan service" and concluded that the ad was therefore irresponsible.
It said some viewers with restricted credit may have found the product in the ad particularly attractive because of their identification with Katona and the references to her own past financial problems.
The ASA also found that the APR was not more prominent than the other information which triggered its requirement in the ad, therefore breaching the code.
It ruled: "The ad should not appear in its current form. We told Cash Lady to take care with the overall presentation of information of its loans."