Google announced last week that it will no longer accept ads for payday loans or related products. Additionally, loans with an APR of 36% of higher will also be banned in the U.S.
Payday loans have frequently found themselves in the news recently with stories of people owing tens of thousands of dollars after being unable to pay back relatively small loans. They have also been criticized for specifically targeting lower income individuals and trapping them in a cycle of debt.
Many have called for the federal government to place bans or more stringent regulations on these loans. While the government has been slow to crack down on theses issues, corporations are now taking it into their own hands. It’s interesting to see a company like Google take a stance on the issue and forgo what, presumably, is a lot of money in ad revenue in order to protect its users, and in turn, its brand.
Google’s announcement also quotes Wade Henderson, president and CEO of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights as saying, “This new policy addresses many of the longstanding concerns shared by the entire civil rights community about predatory payday lending. These companies have long used slick advertising and aggressive marketing to trap consumers into outrageously high interest loans – often those least able to afford it.”
How do you see it? Should Google be restricting ads that it thinks aren’t in the best interest of its users or allowing users to choose for themselves?