FNB has fallen short of apologising to its banking customers who have the name “Steve”, for using the moniker mockingly in its latest ad campaign.
FNB faced mild backlash over social media – mostly from persons with the name Steve – for its latest ad campaign which advises customers not to be “a Steve”.
“A Steve” is a banking customer who is, effectively, someone who is not banking with FNB. The idea plays off FNB’s previous campaign featuring telesales agent “Steve Norris” who consistently failed to retain or win over customers to a competing bank.
“Steves” are described by FNB as people who are too cynical, too afraid or too lazy to switch over – or have been “hoodwinked” by competing banks to remain a customer.
The bank is campaigning for South Africans to “un-Steve” themselves.
Some customers took to social media, calling the campaign “an insult to people named Steve”, possibly to the point of alienating them.
However FNB issued a statement in the Sunday papers to let Stevens know that the campaign is not meant to be personal:
“If your name happens to be Steve, we want to say we have absolutely nothing against you, or your fine name,” the bank said.
“In fact, here at FNB, some of closest friends are named Steve.”
“We’re simply trying to help South Africans bank better and get rewarded more.”