Google bans 'harmful' payday loan ads

Google will no longer allow ads from payday lenders to appear in its search results.

The Internet giant has announced that from July it will stop displaying promotions around loans which fall into the short-term high-interest category.

An update to Google's AdWords policy means the search behemoth will stop showing ads for loans due within 60 days, or with an interest rate of 36 per cent or above.

Writing in a blog, the firm's global product policy director David Graff said: "This change is designed to protect our users from deceptive or harmful financial products and will not affect companies offering loans such as mortgages, car loans, student loans, commercial loans, revolving lines of credit."

Payday loan firms such as Wonga and Quick Quid offer borrowers short-term quick cash fixes at inflated interest rates. The industry has come under fire previously for a perceived lack of transparency in its ad campaigns, and targeting those with a poor credit history.

The Online Lenders Association said Google's new policy was "disappointing".

Speaking to the BBC, the group's president Lisa McGreevy said: "It's disappointing that a site created to help give users full access to information is making arbitrary choices on the advertisements users are allowed to see from legal businesses."

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.