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Sainsbury’s Bank advert branded ‘socially irresponsible’

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05/10/2016
A Sainsbury's Bank advert promoting the use of a credit card to fund property renovations has been banned and branded ‘socially irresponsible’ by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The advert featured a couple who confessed to becoming ‘over-excited’ after knocking down parts of their home and diving ‘head-first’ into their first renovation project.

The pair admitted they had taken on a project beyond their capabilities, but with the availability of a credit card they said they were able to pay on their own terms with more flexibility.

The ASA received a complaint that the advert was irresponsible because it implied that the best way to finance a property renovation was by getting a credit card.

Sainsbury’s Bank said the advert was intended to illustrate that the credit card had allowed the couple to manage their money while renovating their property rather than suggesting it had been used to fund the entire project.

The bank said the interest-free period of the credit card promoted by the advert made it suitable for funding some of the renovations ‘in an affordable, responsible way’.

The ASA said the tone of the advert gave consumers the impression that the credit card could be used to fix problems which had arisen from a non-essential project like property improvements, and not essential unexpected maintenance.

It went on to criticise the light-hearted feel of the advert and the suggestion that the couple were using a credit card to pay for costs which had arisen from reckless decisions and a lack of planning.

The bank was ordered to stop showing the advert in its current form and to ensure its advertising did not present consumer credit products in a socially irresponsible way.

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