Wonga ad banned after breaking rules (again)

Wonga’s woes have increased today after one of its television ads was banned.

Last week, the payday lender was forced to write off £220m of loans to 330,000 customers after putting in place new affordability checks.

The advert, featuring Wonga’s trademark irritating puppets, shows a man jotting down figures on a napkin and using his phone calculator.

One of the puppets tells him: “You appear to be in a financial quandary, young fellow.”

Citizens Advice complained that the ad breached regulations by not showing interest rates and the Advertising Standards Authority banned it.

This is the latest in a string of problems for Wonga in 2014. This year, it has faced controversy for another one of its ads, its founder and chairman Errol Damelin stepped down, its CEO Niall Wass left after just six months, it was forced to pay out £2.6m after using fake lawyers to threaten customers and it was removed from the Church of England’s investment portfolio. OUCH. (We covered all this in our article about the rise and fall of Wonga last week.)

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “Adverts must be clear about what taking out a loan means and how much it will cost.

“The consequences are really serious when payday lending goes wrong. High interest rates and fees can mean that a small loan balloons into a huge debt.”

Are Wonga’s woes over? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook.

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