The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has banned an online ad from the loan company Peachy for encouraging consumers to stockpile food as Brexit uncertainty heightens.
The email ad sent out on January 24 stated: “… no one really knows what’s going on with this whole Brexit malarkey… and some say it could affect the amount of food available… We do not want to believe that Brexit could impact the amount of food available but it’s still a good idea to have a little stockpile ready.
“That way you’re always prepared for the worst… Things can pop up even when you think everything is going swimmingly… That’s when you might need a little extra help.”
The email offered a promotional discount when receivers clicked on the button “In case of emergency press here.”
In smaller text, the email – dated 24 January 2019 – added: “We’ll never tell you to take a loan – credit decisions should only be made after careful consideration.”
The ASA received a complaint that challenged whether the ad irresponsibly encouraged financially vulnerable people to take out a loan by playing on their fears.
ASA agreed it was “irresponsible”, adding: “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.”
Peachy.co.uk had argued the advert “was intended to portray the uncertainties of every-day life, where those without savings for unfortunate events might benefit from the advertised product”.
They claimed the “light-hearted” reference to Brexit was included to “make the ad topical and to reflect some people’s lives, where it might be difficult to be fully prepared for all or unexpected scenarios”.
The company was also ordered by ASA to “ensure future adverts 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”.
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has requested a delay to the UK’s departure from the EU in order to prevent a no-deal Brexit on 29 March, the current date Britain is scheduled to leave the bloc.