Advertising by the instant cash loan company, Wonga, is not so popular with soccer fans when the advertising takes place at their local club grounds, according to a report carried in the Guardian newspaper.
The fans of quite a few of Britain’s many football clubs have signed a petition to get their own clubs to forfeit the revenue they get from displaying advertising for Wonga or any other payday lender at their grounds. The campaign, led by a key supporter of Northampton Town F.C., Bob Ward and his grandson, Dan Ward, is set to encourage more than 60 other clubs to follow suit.
Bob Ward said that although the short term loans company, one of Britain’s most important in terms of turnover, was far from being illegal, this was probably because of Britain’s lax regulations. He said that many other European countries, as well as a majority of the individual states in the USA, had much stiffer regulations which would make the present terms and conditions that Wonga operates in impossible.
The soccer fans are asking their respective fans to find another source of advertising, rather than promote what they think are “dubious” activities. The fans have written an open letter to the football clubs, which was published in the Guardian, which suggests that the clubs advertise other sources of short term credit, like credit unions rather than short term loans.
There are nearly 200 companies offering online short term loans or instant cash loans now operating in Britain, with Wonga one of the most prominent. The payday lenders generally provide high cost short term loans, designed to get people out of trouble financially for short time periods. When people miscalculate their ability to pay back the loan, they find that the interest rate of the extended loan goes up and get even more into debt.
Mr Ward knows something about advertising, as his own aluminium manufacturing company has a billboard at the Northampton Town ground. The problem, it seems, is not the local advertising that the club has more control over, but network wide advertising by the Football League, from which each club gets a share of the revenue. An individual club can opt not to get the share of the revenue from a particular advertiser, but has to make up the shortfall by local advertising.