There’s an ad on TV (or at least it was on TV) which is absolutely infuriating and appaling. It shows emotive footage of pollution, small seabirds covered in oil, burning refineries, clouds of smoke, barren landscapes and then has a text caption: “Some of the biggest problems in the world today were financed by banks”, and then goes on to say, in essence that banks are evil – except for Westpac. This utterly shit, cheap thinking is so bad, that I can’t help but think that the marketing leads and agency should be dismissed. It shows gross incompetence and worse.
Westpac makes so much of it’s corporate reputation, and yet damages in entire image of the banking industry by basically legitimising the rubbish hurled at banks by the most uninformed. Furthermore, it builds Westpac up as a target for future backlash WHEN (not if) one of the millions of projects that Westpac funds has some environmental or social issue attached.
Obviously some goose at an ad agency came up with the concept and the CMO has approved it with absolutely no foresight into the unsustainable and quite frankly stupid messages this ad sends in the broader context of social and public affairs. Who was the planner on this garbarge? a 16 year old Greens wannabe? How on earth did the CMO think it would be a good idea?
What’s worse – instead of focussing on the products at hand, the methodology with which Westpac is going about improving the environment or their lending process, it simply goes the emotion angle. It highlights the negative with emotion, rather than building up the positive – that banks are in a position to enforce greater transparency and accountability of projects it funds. This negative emotion hurts the bank and worryingly, it also hurts the credibility of all banks and financial institutions.
Westpac, you should be ashamed of yourselves.