Credit and Debt

If you've ever been so unfortunate as to be watching TV during the daytime in the UK, you'll have noticed that not only are the programmes crap, but the adverts are repeated ad infinitum. The infamous one at the moment is the one for Picture Loans. I think this is a subsidiary of the US Financial behemoth MBNA, who seem to require call centre staff for their Chester operation every week. Obviously nothing to do with high turn over of employees.

For those who have missed this gem, try You tube. There are a few variations on the theme but it is clearly aimed at people who a) do not work during the day, b) have debts, c) have bad credit records and/or d) have yet to complete the process of evolution. although advertising costs are lower for such channels and times, it clearly works for the company as they continue to bombard us with the ads. Two ads feature football as seen through the eyes of marketing people that have never seen the game. Dialogue such as, " I hope they don't cancel the football," tends to give the game away.

The most unpopular one, however, centres on the dimmest woman in NE England and her untidy son's scooter. Not only does she try to help the lad find this whilst anchoring her home to a loan at exorbitant rates, which is extremely rude, but she has to ask her moron of a husband to confirm how much they want to borrow. So, lots of thought has gone into their financial plans. perhaps this is why they're in the shit in the first place.

The ad works. It may be some post-modern irony and be memorable because it is so bad. However, it masks a serious problem. Debt is a frightening reality for many people. Only this week PM Brown announced plans to teach financial welfare in schools. These companies do not care who they lend to as long as the loan is secured on their property. Whilst continued growth in the housing market means there is often spare equity, this may not be the case as interest rates rise. remember the Thatcherite downturn of the 1980s? I spent many a day in the local county court acting for unscrupulous loan companies, who sought their pound of flesh in repossession cases. Often, this was for small amounts of defaulted payments due to unforeseen circumstances. Fortunately, I was able to quietly advise them how best to defeat the claim and the judiciary eventually came to side with defendants and people stayed in their homes. Not all were so lucky.

Picture are not the only culprits. another bugbear is the one with Carol Vorderman starring. She is the self-styled most intelligent person in the country (third class degree, sums on Countdown, annoying laugh, used to have a 3 page section on technology in The Mirror, very little of which she wrote, [her partner was Deputy Editor of said paper], multi-millionaire). Where is the morality of someone advising people to take out loans at high rates/long terms, when she is so rich. This is similar to the top models and actresses that fly their own hairdressers around the world advertising £1.99 shampoo for the plebs. Perhaps we get what we deserve.

Anyway, I started looking for spoofs on the annoying ad and YouTube did not fail me. This is my current favourite.