8 million Brits too ashamed to admit they are shouldering secret debt

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We worked with non-profit organisation, Debt Hacker, on a series of broadcast campaigns in the lead up to Christmas to highlight the level of debt many Brits get into because they are sold unaffordable payday loans. The purpose of the broadcast activity was to raise awareness that people can make a complaint through their website if they think they have been sold a loan deemed to be 'unaffordable'. 

In the first stage of the campaign, we used research from Debt Hacker to shape our news story. The research showed that 8 million Brits over the UK were shouldering debt in secret and that 54 per cent of people with payday loans take out credit to service existing debt. We had access to case studies across the UK who had either been gambling addicts or had spiralled into debt by taking out several payday loans, as well as the founder of Debt Hacker, Alan Campbell. 

We secured national coverage through Sky News Radio which went out on the morning new bulletins of 140 regional commercial radio stations. We also landed interviews with our case studies and Alan on Talk radio, BBC Radio Scotland, BBC Radio London and 10 other regional BBC and commercial radio stations. 

In the second stage of the campaign, we focused on the level of debt that Brits risk getting into at Christmas, as Debt Hacker research also showed that Christmas was a critical time when many payday borrowers get into debt. For this part of the campaign we had access to a national case study who took out a payday loan of £700 to pay for Christmas presents, which over the course of five years spiralled into £8,000 worth of debt as she had to take out loans from many different payday lenders. 

Our story was the third new item on Channel 5's national news at 5pm. The report included interviews with both our case study and Alan, and Channel 5 News also had Alan on their 6.30pm show for a live interview. We also secured coverage across 40 regional commercial and BBC radio stations.

After the broadcast activity, Debt Hacker processed more than 3,000 complaints to payday lenders made by the general public.