“You should resign. You should give back the money you took while this scam was going on and you should be criminally investigated.” Ouch. Imagine if that was a public official leveling such a charge at you, the CEO of a heretofore well-respected financial services institution. Think of the damage done, not only to your personal reputation, but to the brand value of your company and the morale of your people. Yet this is exactly what John Stumpf, CEO of venerable Wells Fargo Bank, had to endure at the hands of Senator Elizabeth Warren this week. This Senate hearing came on the heels of a scandal in which bank employees, under reportedly intense pressure to cross-sell products to make their numbers, fraudulently opened new accounts for customers without their permission. To make matters worse, Stumpf appeared to blame the proverbial “few bad apples” for the trouble, although it appears as though the number of apples fired as a result was somewhere north of 5,000 and none of them, oddly…
From Ad Age, a good story about Lisa Bacus, CMO of American Family Insurance and how she's remaking the company's image with a really sound media and creative strategy:
Like many advertising categories, insurance marketing was heavy on tactics and price-driven deals but short on branding in 2009. That's where Lisa Bacus, VP-marketing for American Family Insurance, saw an opportunity -- to tell brand-driven stories while her competitors, such as State Farm and Allstate, were driving home the literal value of their packages.
Beginning in fall 2009, the insurance marketer and its media agency, Mindshare Entertainment, embarked on its first branded-entertainment strategy, encompassing several integrated entertainment programs with multiple media partners. The first, focused on agent interaction, was led by "In Gayle We Trust," a branded web series for NBC.com (written by Brent Forrester of "The Office") featuring a fictional American Family Insurance agent (G…
Ad Age: Virgin America doesn't use much TV or print at all, so what are your thoughts on the future of the more traditional advertising mediums? Mr. Branson: Conventional television obviously is dying as an advertising medium and will continue a slow death, whereas obviously the web and other forms of new media will continue to grow. It will clearly be sharing its grave with radio, newspapers, magazines, billboards, posters, and the like, right?
While I admire Mr. Branson immensely, I think making such broad and unsupportable statements is a bit beneath his integrity.
He also announces here that he will be moving Virgin into banking in the coming year. The brand's future brand essence is "People's Champion, Slayer of Giants" so I think that fits in quite nicely with the Virgin ethos, don't you?