Payday loans companies appear to be using clever marketing tactics to attract the attention of impressionable, young women and encourage them to take out loans which some find are difficult to repay.
The short term loans companies are operating out of high street offices that look bright and cheerful and just like a café or estate agent’s office. Anybody walking past and looking inside would see young women, and some men too, sitting on comfortable looking chairs, flicking through magazines as if they were waiting to see the dentist.
The short term loans industry is doing very well in this country, it seems partly explained by particularly lax regulation and the effects of the recession. It’s harder to pay soaring rents and cope with inflation while, at the same time, traditional ways of getting a loan have become more difficult.
It seems as if the short term loans companies are spending considerable amounts of money on advertising, a lot of which is aimed at young, working women.
The companies have adopted quite smart marketing tactics in order to target this particular sector of the population.
Popular soaps and reality shows on TV seem to have attracted advertising time by some of the better known short term loans companies. Wonga, for instance, has spent nearly ten million pounds on TV advertising, which includes time around the finals of the X factor.
Quickquid has been advertising in and around such popular soapies as Desperate Scousewives and Friends. Neither Wonga nor Quickquid admit to targeting young women but it appears from their marketing strategy that that is exactly what they are doing in practice.
Some short term loans companies like the Money Shop hand out attractive colour magazines which are full of pictures of pretty young women all smiling at the loans they have received so easily. Oakam ran a beauty competition, during which they gave out information about its Bonus Loan, which attracts a meagre 300 percent APR.
Other companies have easy to use and glamorous websites where their loans are advertised. Many young women interviewed have told stories of how easy it was to apply for a loan online, then receive it a few minutes later deposited in their bank account. Paying back the loan with the added high interest charge was not quite so fast or so easy.