Lisa Subeck, a local housing activist and co-chair of Progressive Dane, was just appalled. Saturday before last, she attended an anti-violence rally in the Allied Drive neighborhood and was stunned to see at least six young children wearing T-shirts from the nearby Payday Loan Store on Red Arrow Trail. The shirts bore the message, "It's Better Than Borrowing From Your Mother."
"Apparently, the store is handing out the free T-shirts to neighborhood kids, turning them into walking billboards," says Subeck. "Payday loan stores are stooping to a new low, not only preying on the poor but now advertising on the backs of little children."
Calls for comment from this Payday Loan Store, one of four in Madison, got bounced up to Charlie Murphy, the Chicago-based firm's executive vice president. Murphy says the store "does not distribute shirts to kids." Rather, they are intended as promotions for adult customers.
But, Murphy continues, on the day of the rally "a couple of kids came into our store and asked if they could have a shirt and, being a good neighbor, we said sure."
Gosh, these payday loan folks sure are swell.