In November 2013, the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) censured Swansea-based payday lender Cryton Ltd over several issues regarding marketing texts it had sent.
Cryton, which trades as urquickcash.com, sent text messages to multiple recipients which read:
“Your money is waiting to be transferred [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][sic] you have passed the credit check just complete the form at http://urquickcash.com to get up to £1000 transferred [sic] ASAP,” and “Hi, you have been accepted for £1000 to be transferred to your account ASAP just fill out the form at http://urquickcash.com you have passed the credit check.”
Cryton pointed out that the texts were sent by a third party on its behalf, but the ASA ruled that the firm was still responsible for ensuring the texts complied with the Code of Advertising Practice.
The ASA said that the texts were inappropriate as they made claims that the recipients had already been approved for loans, claims which could not be substantiated. The watchdog also commented that the texts incorrectly implied that Cryton was in possession of sufficient information about the recipients in order to make decisions about whether to lend; and also that the texts had been sent without the recipients’ consent.
Cryton was banned from sending the texts again, was instructed not to target people who had not consented to receiving marketing communications, and was also ordered not to falsely imply they held data on prospective customers.
Cryton was previously censured by the ASA in March 2013 when it sent texts regarding payment protection insurance claims services. The texts read “Records passed to us show you’re entitled to a refund approximately £2130 in compensation from mis-selling of PPI on your credit card or loan.” On this occasion, the ASA also ruled that the texts were unsolicited and implied that the company held personal information when they did not.
As of November 26 2013, the urquickcash website, which is hosted in India, had been suspended.
In January 2013, the ASA censured Nottingham-based payday lender Instant Cash Loans Ltd, which trades as The Money Shop, over its failure to quote the Annual Percentage Rate on a television advert. Back in September 2012, the same company was found to have failed to display example repayment information sufficiently prominently.
These examples illustrate how important it is for firms to ensure that their advertising material complies with the ASA Code, and with the rules of their regulator, before issuing it.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]