This is my first emotionally-charged blog.
Earlier this year I was in London visiting a client. I had to travel from my home into London, traverse the Underground between Marylebone and Westminster, conduct the long meeting and return home. It added up to a long day and a late night. On the Tube, I sat opposite an advert for JP Morgan Asset Management’s ISA bank account for busy people. The headline plunged me into a swirl of indignation on behalf of people who have to make such journeys every day.
“You invest in missed bedtimes. Choose an ISA provider that could make the long hours count.”
What struck me as outrageous about this marketing campaign is that it targets people who are locked in to working long hours within the unforgiving City Machine. The pace of London life is so frenetic that ordinary office hours are simply a small part of the longer working day; and most City Professionals feel the heat of the juniors racing to catch them. If they slacken off, leave early or take time for family, they fall behind the pace of their peers and are deemed to be coasting.
Getting home before bedtime just isn’t possible.
And I bet it breaks their hearts.
This particular advert was one of four which JP Morgan outsourced to creative production agency Loveurope. The agency said, “the campaign conveys [JP Morgan’s] understanding of how people work hard now and make sacrifices, for a long-term investment in the future.”
No. I do not usually like to be provocative in this blog, but no. I severely doubt that JP Morgan is trying to solve the problems of working parents. Instead, the advert suggests JP Morgan is willing to hit people in the heart with a message that hurts and then present a solution which is as unconvincing as it is callous: ‘don’t worry about missing out on your child growing up – we’ll help you buy back your child’s lost affection with money in years to come.’
As a father of a young son, I am proud that I can count on my fingers the number of his bedtimes that I’ve missed. I am insulted on behalf of working fathers and mothers that this ad, from a multi-national banking corporation who should know better, would aim directly to strike at a parent’s most delicate nerve.
Am I over-reacting to an advert not meant for me? Please leave a comment in the section below: