Darren Cullen’s pocket money loans for kids poke fun at vile payday lending culture
The first payday loan store specifically designed for children has opened in London.
Pocket Money Loans offers young people loans on their pocket money at rates as low as 5000% APR and hopes to attract young people from all over the capital to take advantage of their wide range of credit products.
As you might expect, the blind outrage has already started …
Relax guys, this is satire at its finest, from the hand of artist Darren Cullen.
The Shop is an exhibit designed to draw attention to how the consumer credit industry is attacking vulnerable people and targeting children with marketing.
The goal of the project, according to Cullen, is “to bring our culture of consumer debt to its logical conclusion.”
He added, “Almost all payday loan companies have cartoon mascots, animated characters or jingles to sing about in their advertisements.
The shop at 77 Stroud Green Road is open until November 8
“Their street stores often have play areas full of toys and some of them distribute balloons and candy to children at the counter.
“It’s clear that they are targeting children, both as a way to persuade their parents, but also as a way to groom the next generation of debt customers. “
The “outrage” was not limited to the Internet. Visitors to the store were also exasperated.
Cullen told The Huffington Post UK: “Most people who come in just want reassurance that it’s not real, but one guy walked away believing it was real even after I told him that it wasn’t, shaking his head.
“We help you buy the things you can’t afford! “
“He asked me if it was not immoral to give loans to children, I said ‘Yes absolutely’. He asked me if I could even force the children to repay their loans and I said we would have their address, but they could still run away from their homes.
“Before he left I tried to tell him it was an art project but he didn’t have it.”
Pointing out that financial deregulation has led the poor to be sucked into “vulture-type” lenders, Cullen says he’s most disturbed by advertising aimed at children.
He said, “Marketers put kids in MRI scans and show them advertisements to see which areas of the brain light up with certain words, colors or shapes. There is a giant industry of amazingly smart psychologists and advertisers who use all the advancements in modern science to make your child feel like they need and love certain products and brands.
Of his disgruntled ‘customers’, Cullen said, “They are appalled that a company is targeting kids for loans, and so am I. But the worst part is I’m not the only one doing it.
“Oakam Loans, Speedy Cash, Wonga, ToothFairy Finance and others all target kids with their advertising. ”
The shop will remain open until November 8 and houses art prints mocking cash for gold pawn shops (Tooth Fairy – Healthy Teeth Bought for £££ s) and an advertisement for Nivea Pro-Aging Cream ( greatly reduces the appearance of childhood).
With a website displaying slogans like “Get rid of your debt with a loan” and “Live your life, spend every day like it’s your last,” Cullen takes no prisoners.
He said: “Payday loan customers who pay on time are in the minority and they offer the smallest profit margin to the company.
“It’s the people who can’t afford to pay back on time who accumulate fees and compound interest over weeks or months. This is where the real benefits lie, built on the backs of the poorest and most vulnerable members of society.
Pocket Money Loans is located at the Atom Gallery, 77 Stroud Green Road, N4 3EG.
See more of Cullen’s work here.