CommBank looks to limit brand damage with ad campaign

Commonwealth Bank today kicked off a major advertising campaign as it looks to limit the damage to its brand amid the multi-million dollar financial planning scandal.CommBank logo

But industry observers have warned that the full page ads in newspapers may be too little too late to save and restore the bank’s battered reputation.

The ads, the work of M&C Saatchi, feature an open letter from chief executive Ian Narev in which he apologises for the scandal which saw financial planners put customers’ money into high risk investments without their permission.

Along with the apology, Narev announced the beginning of the Open Advice Review Program, pledging “an assessment of the advice received, access to an independent customer advocate and an independent panel of review”.

CommBank declined to comment other than to confirm that a national marketing campaign had launched across multiple media channels. The duration of the campaign is also unclear.

Observers however suggested the campaign should have launched before now.

“They should have done this and much more on day one, not waited a week before placing ads,” one marketing expert told Mumbrella.

“Commonwealth should have been all over social media the moment the story broke. Instead they waited a week before reverting to Stone Age advertising in newspapers.”

The text-heavy style of the ads don’t work because “people just don’t read them”, he added.

The bank has only appeared to apologise to those directly affected by the reckless approach of its financial planners when it should also be sending a reassuring message to others customers, one expert said.

Steve Jones 








Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing.