Outrage! A shop has opened in London offering pocket money loans for kids

We have definitely gone one step too far if there is a payday company that is targeting children. You would have to agree that a lender offering pocket money loans for kids needs to be stopped. However, there it is, at 77 Stroud Green road in London. The lender is offering loans to youngsters all across London at rates as low as 5000% APR. The shop front and interior is set up solely to cater for youngsters and offers a wide range of loans and credit packages.
Yes! We are outraged too.

Pocket money loans for kids – an installation by the artist, Darren Cullan

We can all relax! The payday shop selling pocket money loans for kids is pure satire. Darren Cullan has created a payday shop that lends to children as a commentary on the future of the industry and the growing need for credit in society. The exhibition is also a commentary by Cullen of how the consumer credit industry preys on children. Cullan says:

“[The project’s aim is to] …take our consumer debt culture to its logical conclusion.”

He goes on to point out that,

“Almost all payday loan companies have cartoon mascots, animated characters sing-along jingles in their adverts. Their high street shops often have play areas full of toys and some of them hand out balloons and sweets at the counter. It’s a clear fact they target children, as both a means of persuading their parents , also as a way to groom the next generation of indebted customers.”

Cullan explains that people who come into the shop are horrified until they are reassured that it is not for real. Still there was a certain drama added to get the point across. Cullan answered such questions from visitors as:

  1. Isn’t it immoral to give pocket money loans to kids?
  2. Yeah, absolutely.
  3. Could I force children to repay their loans?
  4. Well we would have their address, but they could always run away from home

Of course it doesn’t need to be said that every visitor to Cullan’s payday shop for kids was shocked. But so is Cullan.

“They’re appalled that a company is targeting kids for loans, and so am I, but the worst thing about it is I’m not the only one doing it.”

And what is the point?

The point is that Cullan’s project has not really tarnished the business model of payday lenders, it has, instead, brought into sharp focus how many businesses in western civilization rely on children to sell their products. Payday lenders may use sweets, balloons, cartoons and mascots, but have a good think about it, how many businesses rely on exactly those same things. Supermarkets, restaurants, shopping malls, airlines… free balloons, free toys, free playgrounds, free video games. In fact, there is a whole army of marketers and researchers that analyse and test kids to find out what they want and don’t want. They take MRI scans to find out how their brains work, and pay expensive psychologists to use the most sophisticated technology to figure out how to get children to buy stuff. That is scary right there.