Easy Credit – Misleading Advertisements?

What is easy credit doing to Pakistan’s consumers, most of whom are new to the credit game? Looking at the advertisements it would seem that the banks and card companies are using aggressive and misleading ad campaigns . They make it sound as if taking debt through credit cards is “the way to go”. Considering the exorbitantly high interest rates, minimal to no consumer education and weak consumer protection laws in Pakistan, this kind of uncontrolled credit offers wil be a disaster for quite a few. Pakistani bloggers have started writing about this issue. I wanted to share excerpts from a post by Adil Najam from Pakistaniat.com on this issue.

I have long argued that the emergence of a true and well-managed market for credit is amongst the most important things for Pakistan’s future economic progress, because it will level the economic playing field and enhance both opportunity and choice. Having said that, credit is a tricky commodity and needs to be handled – and marketed – with care.

Even in advanced industrialized economies it can go out of hand — in the US total consumer debt is now nearly US$1 Trillion and can lead to countless wrecked lives.

But, back to Pakistan. The type of aggressive — some will say ruthless — advertising of credit that could lead to immense personal tragedy in the future.

Lets looks at this advertisement. The young, needlessly exuberant, artificially excited, young man in the ad seems to believe and wants us to believe that the best way to ‘celebrate life’ is to buy a bunch of high-end, imported, luxury item that he can otherwise not afford and probably does not need (a guitar, a top-end cell phone/PDA, an even more top end sound system, and a computer ‘literally’ thrown in). Even if he has to get a loan to do so!

This ad is aimed explicitly at studentswho are told the loan is ‘Fast, Flexible, Affordable.’ Of course, one does not expect MCB to discuss here what better uses a loan could be put to by a student (tuition and education costs, or an entrepreneurial experiment, for example). But one does expect a reasonable bank to advise young people (as they do in many parts of the world) about thinking carefully about credit.

Facebook comments:


  • I don’t think consumer financing, easy credit and all this crap has anything to do with the betterment of public and society. This is a capitalistic trap, transforming the middle class into work-whores, throwing them into a 9-9 rat race to earn for the banks. There are numerous examples around us where people got entangled in this web of deceit and lost their homes and life time saving to the banks.

  • That’s a nice issue to raise Babar — the ads here are certainly misleading (to the degree that need to be sued by Consumer Protection agencies if there were any).

    This ad says it all infact — this bank wants you to be irresponsible and default on the credit in half a year. As such, the ad is revoting.

  • It is useful to take another look at this issue — these credit Ads are going crazy to put it mildly.

    The most recent annoyance is “I’m on vacation in China man — because of XYZ personal loan, its convenient AND affordable!”

    Thankfully the ad ends before the guy comes back home, looks at his credit line and has a heart attack.

  • Here is Jehan Ara’s comments on the same issue — (coincidentally?) her post points to the same company’s ads.


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