Wells Fargo Races to Repair Brand With New 'Commitment' TV Ad Campaign

Advertisements will be running on English and Spanish language outlets.

ByABC News
October 25, 2016, 12:46 PM

— -- Working to repair its brand after a false account scandal over the past several weeks, Wells Fargo launched a television ad campaign on Monday complete with its historic horse-drawn wagons and pledges to address customer concerns.

The ads are the company’s latest effort to reassure the public after regulators said in early September that its employees had opened as many as two million credit and deposit accounts without clients’ knowledge or permission.

Evocative of the company’s brand, one 30-second ad opens with a slow-motion shot of horses pulling a carriage across a prairie -- the iconic Wells Fargo wagon -- while piano music plays.

A female narrator says, "Wells Fargo is making changes to make things right," before listing the measures the company has taken to stem the damage from the scandal.

The television ads, which supplement a current digital and print campaign, began airing last night on ABC World News Tonight and competing newscasts at NBC and CBS, a bank spokesman, Mark Folk, told ABC News. The spots will also run on Sunday morning talk shows.

Folk declined to disclose the bank's budget or planned length of time for its appeal to the public through TV ads.

The campaign comes about two weeks after embattled former CEO John Stumpf announced his retirement and the company's board selected Tim Sloan to replace him.

Upon taking the mantle, Sloan said his "immediate and highest priority is to restore trust in Wells Fargo."

Sloan appears to have his work cut out for him. In data released alongside its third-quarter earnings earlier this month, the bank revealed that September customer visits to branch bankers had fallen 10 percent compared to September 2015. They were also down 14 percent versus August of this year.

Perhaps more alarming for those at the top was the revelation that consumer checking account openings in September were down 30 percent versus the previous month and 25 percent year over year.

The company's campaign to repair its image began earlier this month, Folk said, with digital and print advertisements running in local and national papers. Those ads are ongoing.

The introduction of the TV spots comes ahead of planned advertisements in Spanish-language media, including La Opinion, targeted to the Latino community in Los Angeles, on Oct. 27th. TV spots with Spanish narration and titling on Telemundo and Univision are due to arrive on October 31, Folk said.

Wells Fargo will also place ads in the World Journal starting on Oct. 27, and in the South Asian Times a day after.

Radio ads will begin on October 31 on Radio One, a network of 55 stations in 16 markets across the U.S. that targets African American and urban listeners, according to the network’s website.

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