Community leaders from Citizens UK welcomed the removal of payday lender Speedy Cash’s advertising slogan ‘you are not aloan, we are here if you need us’ from stores this weekend.
The move comes weeks after leaders from Citizens UK, working with lawyer Jacob Turner, filed a complaint to Camden Council about the slogan on the grounds that it could mislead vulnerable people into thinking that Speedy Cash was a form of support service rather than a payday lender.
Barbara Wilson from Corpus Christ RC Church, Brixton Hill and co-chair of Lambeth Citizens said:
“we are delighted that Speedy Cash is beginning to take notice of the community’s concerns. It is vital that payday lenders market their loans responsibly and avoid the risk of misleading vulnerable people.”
Leaders from Citizens UK have been campaigning for Speedy Cash to remove marketing considered inappropriate for a year. In a Christmas action to highlight their concerns, 75 community leaders gathered outside the Brixton store with Father Christmas to deliver coal as Speedy Cash had been ‘naughty’ that year.
Following this, Citizens UK twice met with Speedy Cash’s Chief Operating Officer Michael Charles. Citizens UK asked Mr Charles to remove three elements of Speedy Cash’s marketing policy considered inappropriate for a payday lender. These were:
- Stop using the ‘you are not aloan, we are here for you if you need us’ slogan
- Stop using a cuddly kangaroo ‘Speedy Roo’ as the official mascot as it could attract children
- Stop the refer-a-friend scheme that gives £20 to customers for getting their friends or family to take out payday loans
After taking them to the board Mr Charles refused to make these changes.
Rabbi Janet Darley from South London Liberal Synagogue and a Lambeth Citizens leader said:
“despite a disappointing meeting earlier this year, it is great to see that Speedy Cash has now taken action and removed the ‘you are not aloan’ slogans from its stores. We hope that the new advertising campaign will be more appropriate and that this small step will be followed with action on the refer-a-friend scheme and the ‘Speedy Roo’ mascot. We will keep up the pressure.”