Wonga ad banned for suggesting 5853% APR ‘irrelevant’

A Wonga ad has been banned for misleading consumers about the interest rates charged on its payday loans. 


The Advertising Standards Authority ruled the ad, an attempt to debunk myths about the interest customers are said to pay on its loans, actually made the 5853 per cent APR Wonga customers are charged if they do not pay loans back in the agreed time seem “irrelevant”.

The spot featured the brand’s regular cartoon characters explaining the costs of one of its short-term loans. “Some people think they will pay thousands of per cent of interest. They won’t of course – that’s just the way annual rates are calculated,” one says to the other. 

On-screen text detailed first the fixed interest rate if the loan is paid back within 18 days, then the total amount repayable and finally the “representative 5853% APR”.

The ASA says Wonga did not make it clear the interest rate that would be applied to the loan and did not show the representative APR (RAPR) prominently enough.

“Because we considered that the ad misled as to the relevance of the RAPR to a short-term loan, and because we considered it irresponsibly encouraged viewers to disregard the RAPR, we concluded that it breached the Code,” the ASA says.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here