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Media Bites: Huntington Bank wants us to think they are looking out for us

May 13, 2019

The public relations and advertising industries are more often than not, just straight up propaganda. The father of the PR industry, Edward Bernays, once said:

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society.

Bernays, before he began working on ad campaigns, was part of the Creel Committee. The Creel Committee was tasked with convincing the American public that the German’s were evil and that the US needed to get involved in World War I. The propaganda campaign that the Creel Committee deployed worked and public opinion shifted in a short period of time.

A recent advertising campaign that has been airing on the radio in the West Michigan market, is an ad from Huntington Bank. You can watch the ad online, at this link, but essentially what Huntington Bank wants us to believe is that they are looking out for us. 

You read that right, a bank wants us to believe that they are looking out for us. The ad shows little acts of kindness between people. Early on in the ad, the narrator asks us how we ever lived without it…….looking out for each other. I’m sorry, but human kindness is as old as humanity. Does Huntington Bank really think want us to believe that human kindness just now came on the scene, with their quaint little ad campaign? And, does Huntington Bank really want to look out for us?

The function of banks is hold on to people’s money, supposedly keeping it safe. However, the reality is that banks invest in all kinds of things, using our money, generally to fund projects that will make the rich more money. Banks invest in things like the Dakota Access Pipeline or the Enbridge Pipeline that runs through Michigan, known as Line 5.

Those who sit on the board of directors of banks are also those who represent big business, thus making sure that there is an interlocking system of financial power. Then there is the issue of how banks are always seeking to influence federal and state policy. According to OpenSecrets.org, the banking industry has contributed a little over $388 million to political campaigns in the US and commercial banks spend on average $60 million a year lobbying Congress

Huntington Bank is no different, they just are not as big as other banks. However, since 1990, Huntington Bank contributed a little over $3.5 million to political candidates and they have contributed millions to lobby members of Congress on financial legislation.

So, when Huntington Bank tells us that they are looking out for us, don’t be fooled by their quaint ads. Huntington Bank is looking out for themselves, because that is what corporations within a capitalist system do……they look out for themselves and their shareholders.

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