Posted by: Burth Helm on October 17, 2008
Well, she didn’t show up in person, but give Bank of America CMO Anne Finucane credit for actually addressing the economy – something speakers earlier this morning glossed over. In taped remarks, sent, she explained, because she’s busy dealing with the crisis, Finucane first tackled the subject with humor. “As someone on the inside, I can assure you that everyone has been cool, calm, and collected,” she said. Then she cut to a clip of a hurricane.
Finucane didn’t give many specifics about how the Bank’s marketing dept. will reassure customers, but she did say it planned to help some 400,000 homeowners avoid foreclosure and would agree to some $8.4 billion in rate reductions. The rest of the time she spoke about BofA’s environmental work, the “Keep the Change” program, and showed ads for the U.S. Trust Wealth Management business.
After the tape, BofA marketing executives Anne Saunders and Claire Huang stepped in for some questions. The bank is responding, they said, by talking to consumers more about FDIC insurance, and pushing messages that communicate security, stability, and use the word “guaranteed.” The company sounds like its being particularly aggressive in reaching out to its private banking clients. Claire Huang, who runs marketing for the wealth management division, said the company is hosting conference calls with Bank of America’s economists for customers, and sending them explanatory literature. “We have a war room – every time a big headline comes up, we have our economists, our chief thinkers in the bank coming together to issue papers so that people are well aware of what the impact is to their lives.”
Meanwhile, Saunders said it was uncertain how much BofA would spend on advertising next year. “It would surprise me if we end up spending more.”