Wonga attempts to reinvent itself
Payday loan company Wonga has reinvented itself with new adverts after a highly controversial year.
The short term lender has pulled its adverts that used puppets and replaced them with “hard working dinner ladies and mothers”. They have claimed that the adverts will not be targeting the young or the vulnerable. There are no watersheds for the adverts, and they will run during the ad breaks of popular soaps.
The company said adverts would not be shown on children's TV, or channels or programmes with a large audience among younger people. Billboards within 50 meters of a school or college would also not be used for poster adverts.
Wonga suffered pre tax losses of £37.3 million in 2014. They have also faced controversy over the use of puppets in their adverts, as they have been accused of using them to attract children. Also, the payday loan company had to apologise and compensate customers for the use of letters from fake legal firms, as well as write off unsuitable loans.
Tara Kneafsey, UK chief executive of Wonga said:
“We’re re-presenting our short-term loans to the public in a way that accesses the right type of customer and reduces the risk of inadvertently attracting the very young or vulnerable.
“Our focus is on serving hard-working people throughout the UK who need access to transparent, flexible and short-term credit products.”
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) introduced new rules in January, preventing Wonga from charging customers more than 0.8% in interest per day, and the overall fees and charges cannot be more than double the original loan. The annual interest rate on a Wonga loan, which on average lasts 15 days, has fallen from 5,853% to 1,509%.
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