ADVERTISING - FILM - IRISH (Charities & Trusts)

Ending The Harm - Illegal Loans - Department of Justice Northern Ireland JPG
Ending The Harm - Illegal Loans - Department of Justice Northern Ireland MP4 1m:00s
Ending The Harm - Illegal Loans - Department of Justice Northern Ireland MOV 2m:32s

Ending The Harm - Department of Justice Northern Ireland
Illegal Loans

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Ending The Harm - Department of Justice Northern Ireland - Illegal Loans

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Title: Ending The Harm
Brand: Department of Justice Northern Ireland
Product: Illegal Loans
Entrant Company: Ardmore Advertising & Marketing Ltd
Client: Department of Justice Northern Ireland
Creative Director: Paul Bowen
Production Company: The Gate
Director: Michael J.Ferns
Account Director: Nicola Healy
Production Company Producer: Rhiannon Lewis
DOP: Alistair Little
Post Production Company: The Gate
Other: Cast: Tierna McNally
Notes: Department of Justice - Financial Control Campaign
Illegal money lending is growing issue across the whole of UK in the current climate but in Northern Ireland it is just another tactic for paramilitary organisations to exert their control of communities and take advantage of the very people they claim to protect.

Unfortunately, it is a largely unreported crime due to its perception within the effected neighbourhoods. The lenders are seen as protectors of the community, citizens who look after their own, often friends and family, but as with all criminal activity it only serves to perpetuate their corrupt organisations control of those communities and to benefit their own lifestyle.

Ardmore engaged with victims, community groups and charities who offer support and help to those unfortunate enough to fall prey to these gangs, the Police Service of Northern Ireland and illegal money lenders to uncover the motives, repercussions and the depths that these scenarios can go to.

The truth is alarming, in some instances people are using them as they would an ATM, we heard of scenarios where individuals would borrow £20 to get a fake tan which reveals a frivolous disregard for the implications that shadow these ‘contracts’ through to people who are borrowing small amounts for actual essentials like basic food staples for their family.

This happens because certain people cannot access credit and in doing so identify themselves as vulnerable and perfect prey for these organisations. In many instances the illegal money lenders will be known to then or recommended by friends and introduced as someone who can help.
However, the help quickly turns to control, they are only interested in increasing the debt, prolonging it until it becomes evident it cannot be repaid. Once the victim’s finances are controlled and exhausted they will be coerced into using their home to store criminal property like drugs and guns and put to work in selling drugs for the organisation all manipulated under a threat of shame and violence.
We sought to expose the frightening escalation of these situations so that potential victims understand the implications such a decision can have on them and their families lives. We chose a scenario that audiences would identify with and recognise as a reality in their community, and we ultimately reassured that there is support available.
‘Ending the harm’ tells the story of how a young, single mother’s situation deteriorates rapidly once she borrows money from an illegal lender.

Paul Bowen, executive creative director at Ardmore, said: “Illegal loans are often presented as a quick and easy fix but the reality is that this is a type of control that can destroy lives and keep communities down.

“Through this campaign, we seek to show the real-world consequences of this plight on communities by telling the story of the devastating impact this has on a person’s life and tackle head on the lie that illegal money lenders are here to help.”

The call to action is to visit a campaign website, which has several sections including information on where people can go for help and support, as well as some further real-life stories.

Mark Irwin, managing director of Ardmore, said: “This campaign is hugely important to us. All our team at Ardmore are acutely aware of the grip that paramilitary gangs still have on communities here in Northern Ireland and the significant hardship and hurt these practices cause to local people and their families. We are proud to be able to play our part, in partnership with the Department of Justice, through seeking to bring about change by driving awareness and helping people understand where they can get the support they need.”