#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 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.