Wonga rebrands as 'transparent and responsible' lender after hiring Fold7

Wonga has launched a campaign to repair its controversial image and promote the brand as a responsible provider of short-term credit, after hiring Fold7 as its creative agency.

Wonga’s new ad campaign, called "credit for the real world", will run on television, radio, print and online. It has been developed to present "typical" Wonga customers who need a responsible source of short-term credit.

The work was created by Fold7, which was appointed by Wonga after a creative pitch. It is understood that The Corner, VCCP and Saatchi & Saatchi were also involved in the review, which was handled through AAR.

Albion was the incumbent on the account but declined to repitch for Wonga's advertising account this year after four years as their creative agency. At least one major agency is also known to have turned down the chance to pitch.

This is the first campaign from Wonga, which is known for its short-term and high interest loans and widely accused of behaving unethically, since the payday lender suspended its UK advertising last year pending a review of its marketing.

The company had come under fire for attracting the young or vulnerable to payday loans. Andy Haste, the former chief executive of RSA, was named Wonga’s chairman in July last year and vowed to clean up the business.

All UK TV ads were pulled and Haste said Wonga would not use the Wongies – the geriatric puppet characters created by Albion – in any future campaigns.

Tara Kneafsey, the UK chief executive of Wonga, said: "Our new product features and today’s marketing re-launch are further proof of the action we’ve taken, and continue to take, to ensure Wonga is lending responsibly and putting customer outcomes first.

"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.

"We’re determined to put customers at the heart of everything we do, which is demonstrated by the new features we’re implementing, a number of which go beyond regulatory requirements."

The lender has also pledged to introduce a three-day grace period allowed before a £15 charge is applied for late repayments, more transparent pricing information, and a 24-hour money-back guarantee after a new loan is approved.

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