SEOUL, Aug. 25 (Korea Bizwire) — TV commercials from local loan companies have been a source of consternation for at least a decade in South Korea. In 2007, due to increased voices calling for regulation, the government banned loan commercials from all broadcast TV channels.
Improving technology such as cable and satellite TV soon allowed loan companies to overcome that particular hurdle, however. In response, the government passed regulations in 2015 banning the broadcasting of money lending commercials from 7 to 9 a.m. and 1 to 10 p.m. on weekdays and 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and holidays.
Once again, improving technology, this time in the form of Internet-based TV and video on demand (VOD), gave loan companies another unregulated platform where commercials could be broadcast without government supervision.
If history is any indication, it is unlikely that such liberal freedoms will continue unabated, as the Financial Services Commission (FSC) announced on August 24 that deliberations on a complete ban of all money lending commercials from TV are underway.A spokesperson for the FSC stated that the government will also need to join in on the action, pointing out that “the existing laws will need to be modified to implement [the ban] as restrictions on television commercials are matters governed by law”.
The issue of banning money lending commercials has been on the FSC’s agenda ever since current director Choi Jong Gu took office. At his first press conference, Choi expressed antipathy towards the TV marketing efforts of loan companies. “Though there are regulations that ban the broadcasting of loan companies’ commercials during the time periods when children are at home watching TV, [the FSC] will probably have to take another look [at the regulations],” he said at the time.
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)