Manchester loan company reprimanded for ‘scaremongering’ ad talking up Brexit food shortage fears

  • Cash On Go breached Advertising Standards Agency code
  • Company sent out an email encouraging people to stockpile for Brexit
  • Email suggested customers take out a short term loan to stockpile food

A Manchester company has been reprimanded by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) for an sending out an ‘irresponsible’ email advert encouraging people to take out loans so they could stockpile food for Brexit.

Cash On Go Ltd, trading as peachy.co.uk, sent out an email to customers recommending short-term loans to prepare for the possible consequences of Brexit, such as food shortages.

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In the main body of the email sent to customers, it was claimed: “No one really knows what’s going on with this whole Brexit malarkey … and some say it could affect the amount of food available.” 

Other statements relating to food shortages and uncertainty over Brexit and the future followed.

Bold text stated: “In case of emergency press here” and offered a promotional discount. Smaller text stated: “We’ll never tell you to take a loan – credit decisions should only be made after careful consideration.”

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The ASA found that although the tone of the email was lighthearted and the smaller text did give customers genuine advice, the email was irresponsible.

The ASA’s reason for upholding the complaint was: “We considered that the ad’s references to possible food shortages and the stockpiling of food were likely to play on some people’s concerns regarding Brexit, including financially vulnerable consumers who were already struggling or worrying about their financial situation.

We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible

Cash On Go, which is based in King Street, was told the ad in question must not appear in the same form again.

The ASA added that the company must “ensure future ads did not send an irresponsible message about debt to readers by, for example, putting emotional pressure on them to take out a short-term loan.”

The ASA’s full ruling can be read here.

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