Intesa Sanpaolo and the Careless Copywriter

I have always been fascinated by the unwanted consequences of an advertising slogan, and by the lack of perspective of (some) communication campaigns.

This time, what grabbed my attention was a claim published on Intesa Sanpaolo website, whose small-prints read:

Until July 2, in Rome, Milan and Turin, the experience of living with no cash.

Almost automatically a reaction snapped out in my – and I assume not only mine – mind: looking at how economy is currently performing, a lot of people don’t need a bank to “feel” how does it is to live with no cash.

This simple consideration – a pun, actually – sinks down the copywriter’s attempt to spin the optimistic view of the world, that incites people to live… sorry spend money without (immediate) worries.

How could Intesa Sanpaolo CEO handles himself if, for instance during a TV debate where he talks about this ad campaign, somebody throws at him a line like the one I’ve figured out?

Yes, he might explain that the message is not meant to offend people that have hard time in carry out their daily life, that the message, on the contrary, is an hymn to the joie-de-vivre and so on. But as always happens with short, neat and powerful hits, when  you start dodging the blow with complicated explanation, the damage is already there.

Of course this scenario is not going to happens for the probability that somebody might notice, understand and speculate on this minor issue is actually close to none. But as once a great advertising man told me about the importance of covering all bases:

nobody is going to notice a small mistake, but the  one who will exploit it against you.

Telecom Italia’s new Barons: an Italian Zaibatsu?

Once AT&T retired its offer, the future of Telecom Italia seems to rely upon Intesa Sanpaolo’s bid (probably the biggest italian bank). Should this scenario become true, the result would be a sort of Zaibatsu.

The interesting thing is that to avoid the monopoly, the Italian governement and the Ministry of communication, On. Gentiloni (Margherita) are creating an enormous conglomerate.

Will that helps promoting free market?

Intesa Sanpaolo Internet Banking’s Catch 22

It might happens for some odd and unpredictable reason (at least from the user perspective) that the Internet Banking stops granting you access to your account (incorrect userid or password, they say.) Then you have to call customer assistance by phone, and the automated system, before allowing to talk to a human being, asks for your userid, password and one-time-password.

But that information are incorrect (in fact you have no longer access to your account), and you can’t talk to anybody to fix the problem unless you have a working userid and password (that you have not). You just need to wait, and at the end of the day some human being will answer your call.

It would be better to answer first, isnt’it?

Intesa Sanpaolo: when marketing meets security

Recently Intesa Sanpaolo (born after a merge between Banca Intesa e Istituto San Paolo) moved its Internet banking authentication system from a password-based to a one-time-password-based access.

They sell that “innovation” – ever happens in the ICT business – as a major increase in IT security and then as a benefit for the customer, but if you think for a while this is not entirely true. Or – better – this might be true from the perspective of a marketing manager. But it is not from the customer standpoint.

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