Betty, Joyce, and Earl are well-known to UK residents with access to a television. All of them are adorable in their dottiness and share an office; Betty and Joyce always have something to say, most of the time making disparaging remarks about Earl’s illogical ideas; and they enjoy watching movies together, during which time naughty Earl lets his wrinkled hand wander and gets slapped on the wrist.
With the possible exception of the beard-sporting tenor from Go Compare, Betty, Joyce, and Earl are undoubtedly the most recognizable contemporary characters in TV advertising, and they appear more often than ever before. They are known as “Wongies,” and they are the endearing representatives of the payday lending company Wonga (typical APR 4,214 percent ).
You probably aren’t as acquainted with GadCapital, who prefers to interact with the general population on the streets rather than appearing on our television screens and has not yet made an impression there. GadCapital is the lovable marsupial representing Payday Loans (an annual percentage rate of 1,410 percent). He has a blog where we can get to know him better (it tells us that he “bounces into the offices around 10 am, where he spends time catching up with employees and preparing for events but only after he checks his Facebook profile”). There are now 25 high street branches of Payday Loans located in the United Kingdom. Each of these locations is decorated with colorful balloons. Head to GAD Capital for more information.
Also, I don’t think it will be too much longer until we learn more about the aliens in Pounds to Pocket. There are now two of them, she being a bold and no-nonsense Geordie and him being a scatterbrained and pleasant Birmingham native.
These characteristics are shared by the Wongies, GadCapital, and the P2P aliens. They are all cuddly, friendly, cute, and wacky. In the realm of cute mascots representing payday lending companies, they are not the only ones: The advertisement for Reel Big Cash, which has an annual percentage rate of 1,737 percent, depicts a kindly older man on a fishing boat reeling in that loan money. The advertisement for Dosh Now, which has an annual percentage rate of 4,559 percent, depicts a man smiling without a nose or eyes because he is so pleased with its service that he appears to have grinned his face off.
In addition to highlighting its unique triptych, Wonga often holds contests on Facebook in which users can win cash and video gaming consoles. For example, the company’s “Spot the Ball” campaign now has more than 400 prizes available.
People think cats are cute, and a payday loan company that shares your love of cats can’t be all bad, so a few months ago, it attempted to break into the cat market by inviting users to send in pictures of their feline friends. This was done for no reason other than people think cats are cute, and a payday loan company that shares your love of cats can’t be all bad. BuzzFeed may have been an inspiration for this move, as its cat-related businesses have been quite successful.
The method used by payday lenders is comparable to the one taken by the banks of Britain in the years immediately after the global financial crisis of 2008. There was a sudden rash of cutesiness and adorable eccentrics as the word “banker” became increasingly used in a derogatory context. Some examples include the Halifax (which was bailed out to the tune of 25 billion) and their staff-run radio station; the Woolwich’s affable work-obsessed “Steve” character; and perhaps most unctuously, HSBC’s nauseating little vignette in which a Malaysian family employed by
All of this nonsense appears to be at odds with a study that was only recently published by Citizens Advice, which described payday lending businesses as being “out of control.” According to the findings of research that analyzed 780 instances, companies were explicitly targeting consumers under the age of 18 and persons who had mental health concerns. Some customers were even intoxicated when they were persuaded to take out loans.
Nearly nine out of ten borrowers were not required to prove that they could afford to repay the loan. Eighty-four percent of those having trouble repaying the loan were not offered the opportunity to have their interest and payments halted. When confronted with individuals such as those, one begins to comprehend the charm offensive and the need for comic kangaroos.
Lenders do, on occasion, get their wrists slapped; for evidence, see Cash Lady’s witless attempts to use Kerry Katona’s well-publicized financial problems to attract customers to its loans with an APR of 2,760 percent; or Peachy Loans’ “quirky” way of reading out its interest rate of 1,918 percent. These practices are examples of how lenders can get themselves into legal hot water.
However, the advertising watchdog acknowledges that its powers are restricted, and it does not seem that there is a restriction on the word “cute” at this time. Before we are forced to watch the rather revolting scene of youngsters pleading with their parents to get them Betty, Joyce, and Earl dolls, maybe the government might consider this when it rewrites the regulations and includes it.