Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Advertising exec pitches BofA...with ad of his own

A veteran advertising executive wants a hand in Bank of America Corp.'s next advertising campaign - and he's trying an unusual pitch to win over the Charlotte lender.

Michael McDonald, 80, of Atlanta wrote an "open memo" to chief executive Brian Moynihan and marketing head Anne Finucane outlining his plan to reshape the bank's image. He has been trying to reach the executives since the bank said in January it was rethinking how it advertises to consumers, he said, and decided to take out an ad of his own when those efforts fell short.

"Brian: Here's the pledge that B of A should make to everyone it touches today and in the future; one that you should make sure is always kept," the ad in today's Observer says. "Bank of America: Living up to our name."

McDonald has spent nearly six decades in advertising, he told the Observer this week. The Atlanta agency he launched in 1969, McDonald & Little, was once the largest in the Southeast, running campaigns for banks, sports franchises, fast-food chains and other companies.

It closed in the 1980s, a few years after it was sold. Later, McDonald launched The McDonald Group, and he continues to consult with clients on marketing strategy and branding, he said.

So why BofA? Why now?

"As an American, I feel it is important that an institution like Bank of America - which symbolizes, by its name and size, American banking - be brought back to its full strength and its reputation be restored," McDonald said. "That's a motivation."

He and a longtime associate felt they had the talent to tackle the bank's "thorny" image troubles and create a rallying point for employees and customers, he said. But despite industry contacts from decades past, they couldn't get their ideas in front of the bank's top executives.

Bank of America did not provide an official statement in response to McDonald's campaign. But a source with knowledge of the situation said someone from the bank's marketing department reached out to him this afternoon.

McDonald said he hopes his latest effort is provocative enough to suggest a conversation is worthwhile. As for whether he thinks Moynihan will come knocking once he reads the bank's hometown paper, "Hope springs eternal," McDonald said.

"I'm 80, and my associate is 84. We think we're at the top of our game."


armyturtle said...

If they want to reinforce their name as an "American" institution then they need to STOP OUTSOURCING their customer service to the Philippines, Mexico, & India - I called today about new debit cards because they sent me a message saying that due to the recent security breach with the payment processors they've issued me new cards. A Filipino guy with a thick & difficult to understand accent answered! I said to him, "You're not in the United States, are you?" He told me he was in the Philippines. Their name is a joke. Nothing about them is American no matter what marketing strategy they employ.

Also, STOP MAKING IT SO EASY FOR ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS to do business in the US! Another example of an enabler company bankrupting the American tax payers. You offer them accounts without proper ID (valid drivers license & SSN). I don't care if it's an "untapped market" you're missing out on... They're here ILLEGALLY - that's why it's called "Illegal immigration." Every time an illegal gets a job and can easily do business here you create more opportunity for other illegals to come. STOP IT! You're flooding our schools, hospitals, and jails (among many, many, many more public resources) with people who are NOT entitled to it because they are not citizens of the US!