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The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has cracked down on an advert which some viewers felt made borrowing large sums look like a "light-hearted" everyday event.

An advert by Picture Financial Services in which a busy woman negotiates a £25,000 loan, while being interrupted by family members, has been described as misleading.

The firm defended its advert for a consolidation loan by saying it sought to show consumers they could feel comfortable discussing their finances with them, not to encourage unsuitable borrowing.

The Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre said the advert was not misleading as it contained several warnings.

However, the ASA said: "We considered that consolidating unsecured loans into one loan, particularly one secured on a home, was a serious step that needed careful consideration."

It found that the advert did not suggest the loan had been carefully thought through.

Picture Financial Services’ website says homeowners can borrow up to 125 per cent of their home’s value less any outstanding mortgage balance.

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