Rent-to-own ad banned for promoting irresponsible borrowing

The ad featured an Apple iPad Credit: Peter Byrne/PA

An ad for a rent-to-own company featuring the Fairground Attraction song Perfect over images of high-value items such as an iPad, wireless headphones and a flat-screen TV has been banned for presenting borrowing in a socially irresponsible manner.

The television ad for Perfect Home, seen on October 25, featured an animated cat singing the lyrics “It’s got to be perfect … Too many people take second best, but I won’t take anything less,” while walking around a house that contained an American-style fridge freezer among other high-value items.

The ad ended with the words: “Shop now and pay weekly at”

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld a viewer’s complaint that the song and the focus on luxury goods promoted the buying of items on high-interest credit in an irresponsible manner.

Temple Finance, trading as Perfect Home, said the ad was intended to be “parodic”.

It said sofas, beds and fridges were “core household goods” and none of the products featured in the ad could be considered “luxury”.

The ASA noted that the ad featured a number of branded items such as Bose wireless headphones, an Apple iPad, an LG flat screen television that emerged from the end of a bed and a large American-style fridge freezer with a double-door and water dispenser.

The regulator said: “We acknowledged that headphones, tablets, TVs and fridge-freezers were types of product that could be considered ‘core household goods’, but we considered that the featured items would be seen by viewers as high-cost makes and models of those products that were at the luxury end of their respective markets.

“We considered that the use and repetition of the word ‘perfect’ in the ad drew particular attention to their desirability and suggested that viewers need not settle for functional or mid-range household goods and should instead buy more expensive luxury items using high-cost credit.

“We therefore concluded the ad was socially irresponsible and breached the Code.”