A direct mail piece from U.S. Senate Federal Credit Union that features a buxom blonde has generated some angry reaction, some national media attention and a petition drive started by an offended member seeking an apology.
News Update, May 31, 2012: U.S. Senate FCU Issues Apology
The “Got Big Plans?” campaign on the $563 million credit union’s website offers loans for various purposes, promising the Alexandria, Va., credit union – which has offices in the Senate Hart Office Building and the Government Accountability Office –“stands ready to “help with all that life dishes out.”
“Clearly, someone at the bank prefers things big. Really big. Women of the Hill can rejoice in knowing that the SFCU will ‘worry about the money’ while we’re busy worrying about our own self-image AND what sort of plastic surgery we should have to compensate for it,” blogger Meredith Shiner wrote in Roll Call’s Heard on the Hill section.
It continued, “We hear you, dude who came up with this ad and the dozens of people who must have signed off on it, and to you we say, ‘Hey Senate Federal Credit Union, our eyes are up here!’”
Meanwhile, a poster who identified herself as Amber W., a lifelong advocate of credit unions, has started a Women’s Rights petition against what she deemed a sexist mailing, asking the credit union to acknowledge its inappropriateness and make a public apology. So far it’s garnered more than 330 signatures.
And so far there’s been no comment from U.S. Senate FCU.
According to James Robert Lay, founder/ grower of relationships of PTP New Media, it’s a missed opportunity.
“From a social standpoint alone given the buzz happening and the comments on the petition page and the Huffington Post, this is a perfect opportunity to be a social institution, that is what the human economy is all about,” Lay said.
“Post a comment on the petition page, comment on the Huffington Post, do an op/ed and play it up. Even if it was a mistake take the opportunity to address it at the industry level and then directly to consumers. Take it head on. It’s a lesson for all credit unions to listen, learn and engage,” he said.