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Bankers association ad touts ‘hometown bankers’ as poll ratings slide

Bankers association ad touts ‘hometown bankers’ as poll ratings slide

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Bankers association ad touts ‘hometown bankers’ as poll ratings slide

 

Piggybankblog posted on 12/24/14

Repost from bizjournals.com

 

Yes, that’s Virginia Bankers Association President and CEO Bruce Whitehurst in a series of American Bankers Association television commercials airing nationwide.

No, Whitehurst isn’t aiming for a new career in show business. “I think Brad Pitt is going to be OK,” he told me.

Three versions of the “America’s Hometown Bankers” spots began airing Dec. 7 on network and cable business and political news programs such as “Squawk Box” and “Meet the Press.” ABA says the ads “showcase the ways bankers help their customers achieve their dreams, from buying a first home to growing a small business.”

ABA spokesman John Hall told me this is ABA’s first nationwide television campaign since the 1990s. It is timed to leverage positive changes in the national economy. “We are looking to begin a new day,” he said.

Hall would not reveal the cost of the campaign, which runs through January.

A new Gallup poll shows 23 percent of Americans have a “very high” or “high” opinion about the honesty and ethical standards of bankers, down four percentage points from last year. Nurses topped the list at 80 percent, while Congress pulled up the rear at 7 percent. The poll was conducted Dec. 8-11, before Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other lawmakers began criticizing a provision in the $1.1 trillion spending bill that rolled back a portion of Dodd-Frank.

The reputation of bankers sank to a 37-year low of 19 percent in November 2009, during the Great Recession, then rebounded to 28 percent by November 2012. The low score was 22 percentage points below the 41 percent high of November 2005.

Another Gallup poll released in September shows American views of the banking industry as a whole were positive for the first time since 2007. The latest positive 8 percent is a huge rebound from the industry lows of negative-28 percent in 2010-11 and 2012-13.

Whitehurst said he was “flattered” to be part of the ad campaign, which also features William “Billy” Beale, president and CEO of Union Bank & Trust in Richmond. The spots were filmed in Dallas.

Mark Holan covers the economy and money — banking, finance, private equity, corporate accountability and professional services.

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