I don’t mind ads for selling your gold, selling your CDs to a covetous bird that often brings misfortune (OH THE IRONING), trading in your shit*or whatever else. They’re a bit bottom of the barrel and aimed at scumbags like myself, but they’re fine – you’re selling your shit to people for a bit of cash. Not a lot, and you’re certainly being ripped off, and there are definitely ways you can make more money with a tiny little bit more effort (the excuse of “I can’t be bothered” was thrown at me so many times in CEX it’s unreal – well done, you just sold Street Fighter III on Dreamcast for £2, you monumental idiot).
But it’s not shady.
But then in the same ad breaks you’ll have things for money lenders. They explain the process, they explain how much you’ll have to pay back, the interest rate isn’t hidden – it’s quite big in the small print and none of it is anything other than above board.
But… it’s just loan sharking. Legitimised and advertised. Put a suit on it and call it a business, that kind of thing.
When a friend offers a loan, they’re unlikely to ask you pay interest on it. If they do, it’ll likely be “I’ll loan you X amount, you pay me back X+1 amount”. Fine. If a bank offers a loan, they’ll charge interest, usually around 17-30% or something, which accrues at a fairly reasonable, manageable rate.
But these things with their 1734% interest rates, with their bright lighting schemes and happy, working, middle class pretty young women deciding it’s a good idea to loan money in the short term – that’s insane. That’s some of the most blatant bullshit – if not actually outright lies – I have ever seen in any advertising, at all, ever.
Say what you want about chocolate ads and their procession of ‘if you eat chocolate all the time you’ll still be as skinny and pretty as this skinny pretty girl also all women have a secret stash of chocolate WHY DON’T YOU’ – at least they’re just asking for 60p out of you. Not 60p then 1734% interest calculated on a secondly basis and… sigh.
Today has not been a good day.
*Though gaming publishers and a lot of gamers would mind that, for they are idiots wholly against the concept of owning something and being able to do what the fuck you want with it.