#D’oh! AIB feels the Twitter fury over credit card ad

AIB received a wave of criticism after it tweeted a photograph of Electric Picnic tickets beside a credit card  with the message: “Want to go to @EPFestival? Get your tickets now, life doesn’t always wait until payday!”   Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

AIB received a wave of criticism after it tweeted a photograph of Electric Picnic tickets beside a credit card with the message: “Want to go to @EPFestival? Get your tickets now, life doesn’t always wait until payday!” Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Fri, Jun 27, 2014, 01:00

AIB received a salient lesson yesterday in the unpredictability of social media marketing. It’s no joke trying to manage your message in the Twitter badlands, especially when you’re a bank that cost taxpayers almost €21 billion.

Somebody somewhere in AIB thought it would be a good idea to tweet a picture of a credit card and some Electric Picnic music festival tickets, along with the message: “Want to go to @EPFestival? Get your tickets now, life doesn’t always wait until payday!”

It helpfully included a link to a website selling AIB’s Click credit card.

Cue a deluge of righteous indignation from Twitter users – some of it fair dinkum, some of it over the top – accusing the bank of inculcating a wreckless consumer borrowing culture, à la the Celtic Tiger.

“Can’t say I’m a big fan of ‘go into debt to buy this...’ advertising,” said one user called Saoilí, prompting a rather sheepish reply from the bank that the feedback would be “passed on to the team”.

Then the heavens opened.

Catherine Howard, a business adviser with a local enterprise office, tweeted: “That’s insane in light of the last few years. Have they/we learnt nothing?”

Jill Kerby, a high-profile personal finance journalist, certainly didn’t mince her words: “Welcome back to the ‘buy now, pay later’ culture that has turned the Irish people/nation into debt serfs. #twats”

Sinn Féin’s finance spokesman Pearse Doherty was next to criticise the bank, which by this stage was backpedalling like a dog out of hell.

Deary me.

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