Brokers, you'll like this one: Apparently, RBC isn't the only lender on the hot seat these days, with an Australian bank now being pilloried for airing a TV commercial showing a dog doing his business -- all in an attempt to sell mortgages.
UBank, an online brand for National Australia Bank, has withdrawn a television advertisement promoting their mortgage products after complaints from the public over a video that features a poodle with a special performance trait – defecating gold bars instead of doo-doo.
SEE ad HERE
“I feel as though the advertiser has merely copped out,” says Laura Sauve, a mortgage agent with Centum, “trying to capture the audience’s attention with shocking images.”
Chris Karram the co-founder and president of Safebridge Financial Group, agrees.
“Our perspective when it comes to advertising and branding should be focused on promoting professionalism and answering the financing needs of their clients, not gimmicks,” says Karram. “We believe passionately that Canadian consumers are looking for individuals who care about their needs, and bring a level of professionalism to every consultation that encompasses knowledge, experience and expertise. An ad that focuses on shock value is in no way consistent with our perspective of the best way to improve the Canadian perception of Mortgage Professionals across the country.”
The ad has also been removed from YouTube, but can still be seen here.
The ad – one of two by creative agency The Monkeys featuring gold “metaphors” – aired briefly last month, and has been replaced by one that features a miniature golden volcano.
When Mumbrella – Australia’s off-the-wall online media and marketing website news agency – asked UBank why the pooing poodle ad had been dropped so quickly from the “rewards are real” campaign, it issued a short statement saying, “The current execution includes a TVC featuring a volcano of gold, running nationally.”
It added in a later comment: “We feel the volcano is a better reflection of UBank’s brand and values although we have not received any formal complaints from the poodle ad.”
Sauve wasn’t impressed by the volcano ad either.
“I watched both ads – the poodle and the volcano one – I find neither of them to be entertaining; in fact, the message seems a little wonky,” she says. “Why would one use a volcano or a poodle pooping to represent a financial metaphor? Sure it’s gold, but it’s an unreasonable comparison.”
Ironically, the volcano ad that replaced the gold-pooing poodle has also drawn complaints.
Those complaints – dismissed by the Australian Ad Standards Board – are that it is racist, because the man injured by plunging his arm into the golden volcano is black.
One complainant said: “I found it distressing to watch a person plunge his hand into molten metal (gold) and scream in pain. This is a bad message to convey, it may have racial overtones, and portrays a person who is suffering in pain. It’s in very bad taste.”