Wonga looks to reinvent itself

Controversial payday loan provider Wonga gas announced plans to improve its image, credibility and payday loans process after a tough period, which has seen the company heavily criticised.

This will include creating new adverts, which feature ‘hard-working dinner ladies and mums’, introducing new financial products and looking at other brands. The company also announced it would not be changing its name, but any long-term loans released later on may be done under a different name.

The website is being revamped, in an attempt to make everything clearer to customers, to prevent unexpected costs.

One of the new features that will be introduced is that balances which are in arrears (meaning payments are overdue) will be frozen after seven days to protect the customers from interest rates which get out of control.

In terms of the TV adverts, they will still run throughout the entire day, not restricted by a watershed. However, they will not feature on children’s TV shows or programmes which have a strong following amongst young people, as well as not advertising on billboards within 50m of schools or colleges.

Their previous adverts were criticised before as they involved puppets, and these will now be replaced due to Wonga not wanting ‘anything which inadvertently attracts children’. The UK chief executive of Wonga, Tara Kneafsey, said: “It was clear that the puppets were inappropriate.”

Wonga recently announced that it had made an annual loss of almost £40m, and expects to record another loss this year.