A few years ago there was an outcry when Carol Vorderman advertised debt consolidation loans that put borrowers' homes at risk. But what of that bastion on pensioners' settees, David Dickenson? Does any celebrity really need to scrape a living from ads for one of the world's oldest professions? It's not as if we've never heard of pawnbroking, Dave.Promoting 500 stores, hunting for a bargain that borrowers can pawn, Dickenson presents The Money Shop's offer with sickening ease. Never mind that these chains are often strategically located next to betting shops, nor that their expansion fuels a whole new wave of family tensions, likely to be heightened by a Universal Credit paid to households and not individuals. No mention of the fact that for the young and vulnerable, these places look like some nirvana stacked with readies. And if you ask the police to investigate a personal property theft these days? Well, heaven help you! Cashing in shops were a haven for the rioters last summer.
In Parenting for Pawn, we illustrated just how much a minefield these off the shelf pawn-brokers can be, cutting everything down to the lowest common denominator. No experts here, to cast an informed eye over your heirlooms and assests, just a quick check on E-bay to see what something that looks like what you're selling is fetching these days. A Bargain Hunt indeed.