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Newcastle MPs win fight as Wonga removed from Newcastle shirts worn by kids

6 years ago
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A campaign to have Wonga removed from Newcastle replica shirts made for kids has been successful.

Newcastle MPs such as Catherine McKinnell and Chi Onwurah were at the forefront of the movement to end the likes of Wonga appearing on all Newcastle replica shirts, wanting payday lenders treat the same as companies selling alcohol. Today”s announcement sees a partial yet significant victory with now only adult shirts to display the payday lender.

The Newcastle United shirt sponsors have accepted that including Wonga on shirts sold to children was an irresponsible practice and have now made an official statement saying they are bringing to an end this practice.

However, this will not become effective until the start of the 2016/17 season due to ‘kit production schedules’.

Official Statement From Wonga

Wonga Group (‘Wonga’) today announces that it has been agreed with Newcastle United to remove the Wonga logo from all children’s replica shirts and training wear from the earliest possible opportunity which, due to kit production schedules, will be from the commencement of the 2016/17 Season.

This follows Wonga Chairman Andy Haste’s commitment, on his appointment in July, to review all the company’s marketing to ensure that none of it could inadvertently appeal to the very young or vulnerable. Wonga has already ended its ‘puppets’ advertising campaign.

Darryl Bowman, Wonga Marketing Director said: “As a responsible lender we believe removing our logo from children’s replica shirts and training wear is the right thing to do. We appreciate the Club’s support in this matter.”

Newcastle United Managing Director Lee Charnley commented: “We understand and respect Wonga’s position and are happy to support their decision.”

Catherine McKinnell (Shadow Treasury Minister),who is  the Labour MP for Newcastle North, had previously said that seeing children advertise payday lending was ‘difficult to stomach’.

Catherine McKinnell;

“These shirts are expensive with people paying for the privilege of advertising a payday loan company which has been making astronomical profits off the backs of people they shouldn’t have been lending to in the first place.”

McKinnell’s comments follow recent revelations that Wonga are going to lose out on hundreds of millions of pounds after admitting serious faults in the running of their company, including lending to vulnerable people that they shouldn’t have,

Meanwhile Newcastle Central MP Chi Onwurah, whose constituency includes St James’ Park;

“My heart sinks every match day when I see kids proudly sporting their Wonga shirts, normalising and, indeed, celebrating 5,000% interest rates and debt as a way of life.

“Perhaps now that the new chairman Andy Haste has said he wants to avoid targeting the ‘vulnerable and the young’ they will finally keep the logo off children’s kits?”

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