Barclays is attempting to overcome the “stigma” and controversy surrounding secured loans with the launch of a new product aimed at the mainstream market.
The Fair & Square secured loan aims to have a more mainstream appeal by targeting the B to C demographic. Barclays will keep Fair & Square “entirely separate” from its existing secure-lending brands, such as Firstplus, which is aimed at lower socio-economic groups.
The launch is being supported with a heavyweight £5m campaign, which breaks next week. Fair & Square marketing director Chris Warin says it will be the first secured lending brand to advertise heavily across terrestrial, primetime TV.
It will also concentrate on brand advertising, rather than the direct response spots run by it rivals across daytime TV on digital.
Warin adds: “We want to get away from the stigma attached to secured lending. People tend to see secured loans as a ‘last resort’. Many would benefit from consolidating their debts earlier.”
Warin is leading the launch with former Bartle Bogle Hegarty group director Steve Kershaw, who left the agency after 21 years in October. Kershaw is consulting for the brand. BBH was involved in developing the brand and created the advertising, with media planning and buying through Walker Media.
Firstplus, which was put up for sale in June last year, has been criticised by consumer groups, who argue that customers would be better off remortgaging their homes than taking a secured loan.