Soft music plays in the background of a new TV ad campaign as it urges viewers to use payday loans only for emergencies. One scene shows a broken-down car. Another depicts a young boy in a doctor’s office, his arm in a sling.
“Please borrow only what you feel comfortable paying back when it’s due,” says Darrin Andersen, president of the Community Financial Services Assn. A new emblem will tell borrowers which lenders meet his trade group’s requirements, Andersen says in the ad.
The ads are part of a $10 million campaign, coupled with a few policy changes by CFSA members, designed to burnish the industry’s image in the face of increasing scrutiny by state legislators. But don’t be fooled by these scraps, or their attempts to cloak themselves in probity and decorum, they’re still fu***** ass****. — BEN POPKEN