Happy Days

I seem to remember, when the financial crisis broke, that all of a sudden all financial advertising dried up. All the ads for banks, all those ads featuring Carol Vorderman, inviting us to ‘consolidate all your loans into one easy monthly payment’, all those ads for credit cards with stupid names. All gone, seemingly overnight.

It was as if the entire financial industry, having been caught out in the act of fucking us over, had gone into hiding in case we marched on them with flaming torches and sharp agricultural implements. The only ads I can even remember even vaguely associated with the financial services were for insurance, and they might have simply become more obvious because of the lack of anything else.

When bank advertising started to creep back in, I seem to recall that they didn’t focus on overdrafts and loans and mortgages and all the stuff that banks actually do – they attempted to attract customers by emphasising their role in the community, reassuring us how responsible they were. If I remember correctly, there was a series of NatWest ads which featured employees doing voluntary work. Nothing about the bank’s services.

And I was just wondering, after going through all that, how did we get from there to a place where we’re subjected to ads for firms offering loans at rates of up to fifteen hundred percent?

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