In the aftermath of the banking crisis it is interesting to see how banks are using advertising to make us believe that they are fluffy, caring and not greedy, grasping, ruthless businesses run for their shareholders.
We are seeing adverts from Nat West where their staff are actually interested in the lives of their customers and in the new crop of HSBC adverts we see people doing their everyday jobs but are put in positions where they choose integrity over profit. For example, one advert shows a paparazzo
photographer that inadvertently has the opportunity to make money after snapping a celebrity that has just visited a nursing home to see her elderly father. Does he publish the photographs and make the money or delete them in the knowledge that he is not interfering in the personal life of a celebrity.
The photographer deletes the snaps and keeps his conscience. It is his job to take pictures of celebrities. Why the fuck did he become a paparazzi if he cannot bring his conscience to sell the photographs?
Another one of these adverts has a local fisherman accidentally catching a dolphin in the net along with a bumper catch of fish. What does he do? He gets out the knife and cuts the dolphin free, losing all his profit in the process. (What they don’t show is that six months later the bank put his business into administration and is selling his boat to pay back the loan he took out to put his children through school.)
This advert might be slightly more believable if it weren’t coming from a bank. Banks don’t deal in conscience they deal in money. We are well used to advertisers stretching the truth about their products but this is just incredible. If you don’t believe me, the next time the bank is clamouring for you to pay your overdraft back tell them you would have done and you had a really good opportunity to make the money but found yourself on the horns of a moral dilemma and you took the path of integrity and see what they say.
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