Picture the Loan


Money. Boy, it can be a bugger sometimes can’t it? There’s never enough to go around. There’s never enough to cover all the bills and still buy that new luxury car, family holiday and all the technological products that you desperately need to make your life fulfilling. Never mind. In years past people would have worked to afford their products or possibly gone without, having realised the sliding scale of income and outgoings have to at least partially balance.

Not any more though. Now you can have all the trappings of a materialistic lifestyle within days, with one easily arranged loan from any number of highly dubious, unregulated money shops. There’s Freedom Finance, Norton Finance, Intelligent Finance, Clearway Finance, Lombard Direct, Marble Loans, Loans.co.uk… there are now so many adverts for these fuckers on daytime television and across the board on cable that they’ve practically become a programming genre of their own.

The adverts are a mixed bunch. Some target those who’ve had bad luck in the past by using heavy-handed yet desperately amateur, metaphorical imagery (it’s raining on those in debt but the sun shines for those with a loan) while others bombard your senses with clip-art representations of desired material possessions. What binds them all though is that they are run by unscrupulous thick-necked bastards operating a bizarrely legal scam out of a shitty one-roomed office somewhere in a forgotten B-town in England. They’re not about helping you consolidate your debts, they’re about trying to get their mitts on your house when your financial guard is down.

Top of the pile for me is Picture Loans with an advert that simultaneously demonstrates the flippant and highly irresponsible approach they have to money management whilst treating their audience / potential customers like idiots. If we are to believe their advertising, they want people to make highly uninformed financial decisions on a whim, to willingly offer up their homes as collateral to afford a holiday and bind themselves to 25 year contracts with a company who think having ‘no paperwork’ for such a monumental decision is a virtue.

Just look at the advert above, or the second example that is at the end of this article, to see their dangerously casual approach to money. On both occasions the loan amount is decided in the moment, as if they were choosing the colour of new bathmat and the couples are so excited by the prospect of being given more money that they fail to realise they’re going to be paying back near double what they’ve borrowed.

“Yes” they all say “we’ve got a mortgage… and how much will that be a month?”

The casual indifference with which home ownership is presented is truly terrifying. It’s not a home, nor an investment, nor a nest-egg for your children – it’s a simple tradeable asset that you can cash in when your Ford Mondeo becomes more more than three years old. The couple in the advert below are actually filming themselves on a camcorder as they gleefully sign away the children’s inheritance, as if in years to come they can proudly pull out the projector and show the whole family exactly when they fucked up their futures.

The reason why these adverts are so wrong is simple; their key audience is the gullible, the stupid and the financially disastrous but they can’t put them on the telly as they’re unappealing. Instead they transpose the characteristics of the common moron onto the middle class, as if to say “hey, look, they’re just like you – or just like you want to be. If people with a nice house and abundant family can treat £25,000 as if it’s nothing then you can too.”

Picture Loans, and all those companies like them, are bastards. Quite how they can legally co-exist alongside the countless news reports and articles about the rising debt problem in this country is beyond me. They’re the equivalent of the dodgy man talking his way into your Grandma’s house before conning her out of her valuables… they target the desperate, the weak and the stupid and they do it under a pretence of wanting to help.

Then again, there’s always the argument that if you believe this shit in the first place you probably deserve everything that comes to you…

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15 Responses to “Picture the Loan”

  1. fidothedog Says:

    Brilliant, I hate those cheese fest loan adverts. Especially the ones with Carol bloody Voderman off of Countdown.

    After all she can add up, so brilliant she is perfect to sell loans to Joe public.

  2. Badger Madge Says:

    What a wondrous piece of social consciousness. Nice one!

  3. Dave Medlo Says:

    It may be possible to understand how these sort of adverts come to be by watching this… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGDS6DGfaXY

    They didn’t make the Picture Loans ad, but when you see the ironic haircutted ‘creatives’ who make the Loans.co.uk promo as opposed to crew-cutted, monosyllabic exec who employs them you can begin to see how it’s the perfect meshing of money vs media. Who cares about the message as long as it’s work, huh?

  4. jasonspaced Says:

    There’s one classic moment in the ad you’ve youtubed at the top, where the daft geordie bint covers the receiver to DOUBLE CHECK with her husband that they definitely want to borrow 25 grand. LIKE YOU WOULDN’T HAVE DISCUSSED THAT IN DEPTH FOR MONTHS ON END BEFORE MAKING THE FUCKING CALL.

    Totally agree with everything you say Dave. These ads have been bugging me for months and months. Surely somebody should be held accountable – like shouldn’t the IAA be involved somehow. It is a highly dubious practice indeed.

  5. Sky Clearbrook Says:

    Oh yes!

    Abso-fucking-lutely agree with you 100%. Well said.

  6. Academia Ginastica Concurso Publico Says:

    Well done, great blog and great posts!!!

  7. JonR Says:

    great post!

  8. wally bazoom Says:

    Daytime tv, is it? Get jobs, you gadabouts.

  9. Mikey Says:

    Great critique Dave.

  10. mikey Says:

    The Picture Loans advert has been banned!!!
    Vive La Resistance!

  11. Swineshead Says:

    Fucking nora!


  12. mikey Says:


  13. trecco Says:

    Anyone agree, the woman in white trousers in picture loan ad, has a stunning ass ?

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  15. neil evans Says:

    who the fuck are you bunch of idiots??????if this country wasnt full of numpties like you lot,sitting on peoples shoulders,trying to tell us what is right for us….this country wouldnt be in the shit state its in………if you want to help people join the fucking salvation or samaritans you bunch of pricks….

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