Wonga.com escapes ad ban despite slew of complaints

Wonga.com, the online short-term loan company, has escaped an ad ban by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), despite more than 80 complaints against its advertising.

Wonga has come under public and media scrutiny for the high cost of its loans.

In this particular case, the ASA was hit by 82 complaints about Wonga.com's current ads, claiming they misled people by not stating an annual percentage rate (APR) of interest.

However, only three of the complainants specified the TV ad, which the ASA then investigated, while the rest of the consumers' complaints concerned the brand's advertising in general.

The ad, created by Albion, showed three puppets depicting elderly people working in an office, discussing the brand. The ad said: "We make decisions instantly," "Money could be in your account in 15 minutes", and "We're fast here." Text stated: "18+. Subject to status. T&C apply."

Wonga.com answered the complaints by stating that it had developed a "transparent" method for detailing the actual cost of borrowing on its website, adding that comprehensive terms and conditions were in place.

The ASA cleared the complaint, noting that Wonga.com's ad only described its product in broad terms that directed consumers to its website in order to apply for a load. Once on the site, the APR was clearly marked out.

Wonga.com’s APR rate is 4,214% for its short-term loans.

In the past two weeks, Premier and Football League clubs have stopped carrying the brand’s advertising on their own sites as the commercial contract came to a close.

However, a recent campaign led by football fans had called on clubs to stop running Wonga.com's advertising due to the high interest rate, according to reports.

Follow Loulla-Mae Eleftheriou-Smith on Twitter @loullamae_es

Subscribe to Campaign from just £57 per quarter

Includes the weekly magazine and quarterly Campaign IQ, plus unrestricted online access.

SUBSCRIBE

Looking for a new job?

Get the latest creative jobs in advertising, media, marketing and digital delivered directly to your inbox each day.

Create an Alert Now
Share

1 Meet the new breed of ad agency chiefs

A new wave of first-time CEOs are opting to do things differently in an evolving landscape. They discuss the business model of the future with Jeremy Lee.

Case study: How 'This girl can' got 1.6 million women exercising
Shares0
Share

1 Case study: How 'This girl can' got 1.6 million women exercising

"This girl can" was based on a powerful insight: that the fear of judgement by others is the primary barrier holding women back from participating in sport.

Just published

More