Co-op Bank launches £5.5m push to reclaim ethical positioning

The Co-operative Bank has launched a £5.5m brand campaign to highlight its ethical values as it looks to rebuild some of the trust lost in the wake of its financial problems and drugs scandal involving its former chairman. 

The “For All The Right Reasons” campaign is led by an Arc London created TV ad that features a man talking passionately to camera about how the bank has turned down £1bn in business because it does not deal with companies or regimes that do not demonstrate ethical credentials. 

Cinema, digital, press and radio ads will continue with the theme.

The campaign follows the completion of a poll where customers insisted the bank keeps its policy on lending and that they communicate it more clearly and more often, the Co-op says.

The bank has admitted the negative publicity around the exposure of a £1.5bn capital shortfall that pushed it to the point of collapse and the arrest of its chairman Paul Flowers on drugs related charges last year dented the trust people had in its ability to operate and its ethical credentials.

Observers have also questioned whether the ownership structure it was forced to adopt to secure its future, which saw the Co-op Group’s ownership reduce by about 20 per cent and majority control passed to bondholders, meant it could describe itself as ethical as it had when a co-operative.

Steve Britain, commercial director of the Co-operative Bank says:We understand that the difficulties the bank has faced in the last year are bound to test customers’ beliefs, but now the bank is stronger we want to reassure them that we have not forgotten the values and ethics that set us apart and remain a key part of our success in the future.”

He adds: “This advertising campaign is the start of reinvesting in what makes our brand and our business distinct from competitors with thought-provoking images and creative treatments.  It goes back to our heritage of tackling hard-hitting issues that matter to our customers and where a bank can make a difference in the world.”

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