As a fan of Saturday night TV I was disappointed to read ITV have agreed a sponsorship deal with Wonga for the new season of the gameshow Red or Black. Thanks to the profits they are making from this form of lending and charging an eye-watering 4214% representative APR, media reports suggest Wonga spent £16m last year alone on advertising- with a turnover of £73m . The move to link their brand to family favourites Ant and Dec is part of a wider strategy to promote this form of payday lending to help them make even more money in this way, a strategy which also includes targeting young people. Yet whilst the Government continues to fail to act doesn’t mean we can’t send a message that this industry needs proper regulation.
Please help get a message to Ant and Dec whose reputation Wonga wish to align themselves with to ask them to speak out against this industry and join the call for legislation to cap the costs of credit and introduce a real time credit register. This would give British consumers the same protection others around the world enjoy from this industry and help limit the debt this form of lending causes for many families struggling to make ends meet in the recession. You can register your concern with Ant and Dec by tweeting them, leaving a message on their Facebook page or emailing their agent and asking them to pass the message along- their management email is email@example.com. They have yet to respond to this concern as yet but we hope they will use their influence to support British consumers- below is a sample text you may find useful to send to them for this purpose too.
Dear Ant and Dec,
I’m writing to express my concern about your new reported partnership with Wonga, the payday loan company, who will sponsor your forthcoming primetime tv show Red or Black on ITV. As the executive producers of this show I would like to ask you to reconsider this relationship and speak out in favour of the campaign to end legal loan sharking in the UK to help secure better consumer protection for your viewers.
With research showing one in three payday loans being taken out to pay off other payday loans and the vast majority being used for basics such as food, transport and housing costs, its clear these firms are profiting from the struggle to make ends meet that many of your viewers will face. Unlike most other countries, there is no limit on what you can charge for credit in the UK meaning companies like Wonga can profit by lending at an eye watering interest rate of 4212% to the millions of Britons who are in financial difficulties as the cost of living has risen, wages have been frozen or they have lost their jobs. The campaign to end legal loan sharking is calling for caps on what can be charged for credit and a real time credit register to protect British consumers from the debts these companies acting in this way are creating for people across the country- so far the Government has refused to act to introduce these laws but I hope by speaking out against these practises you can play a valuable role in changing their mind. Until this industry has the regulation in place to protect British consumers please say Wonga is Wronga and don’t let them use your good name to promote legal loan sharking.
I hope you will respond positively to this request and join me and others in seeking to protect British consumers- if you would like more information about this please do contact the SharkStoppers campaign via the MP Stella Creasy on firstname.lastname@example.org,