Six points to NAB (Australia’s biggest bank) for trying, but their recent attempt at infiltrating a football blog with advertising messages about their new SMS banking service (they were giving away free tickets to a game as part of their launch promotion) raised the ire of many, including the respected online magazine Crikey and blogger Duncan Riley, who started a reasonably successful call to boycott the bank.
I happen to be an NAB customer and I can’t say I like their tactics either.
The idea to spam the comments sections of private blogs was a recommendation of PR agency Cox+Inall, and had been undertaken by Cox+Inall with the bank’s full knowledge and approval. A NAB spokeswoman said that no-one at her company or at Cox+Inall had considered approaching blog owners first for permission before posting their promotional messages.
“Cox+Inall had searched for blogs that included AFL coverage and were well-enough read to attract readers who might be interested in our offer. We identified five or six blogs where we felt we’d give it a try.” the spokeswoman (Felicity Glennie-Holmes) said.
“Blogs are a public forum”, said Ms Glennie-Holmes. NAB and Cox+Inall felt this meant commercial interests could feel free to contribute unsolicited and irrelevant commercial material as comments.”
I have to pop into my local branch this afternoon to give them some documents relating to a credit card account I’m trying to close. I might hang around for a little while in the foyer and hand out flyers to customers who look like they might be interested. You know, just to give it a try. NAB won’t mind surely?