Wednesday, Google announced what I think is a great step forward in the battle against predatory loan companies: it will ban ads by payday loan companies. In a statement, their global policy director, David Graff said
We'll continue to review the effectiveness of this policy, but our hope is that fewer people will be exposed to misleading or harmful products
Google's move follows a similar decision by Facebook to not display ads for payday loans (although, apparently Yahoo still allows the ads on their sites and services).
Interestingly, it has been a while since I have had to fight a payday loan company on behalf of a client. The optimist in me is hopeful that their business is down and less people are being taken advantage of by these companies. But realistically, I'm sure there are still plenty of payday loan companies thriving on the backs of hard working people who find themselves in dire financial straits and will sign on to these ridiculously high interest short term loans.
It's a good step forward that these ads are being banned by Google and these companies are being denied access to an unwitting market.