Wells Fargo’s PR team juggling tandem crises

Unrelated reputational firestorms compel the bank to apologize twice within five days—but a lesson emerges: When in trouble, get backup.

Ragan Insider Premium Content
Ragan Insider Content

It can’t be fun to do PR for a company when it’s in hot water on Twitter or facing massive penalties for alleged wrongdoing in the real world.

Now imagine responding to two such reputational crises within five days.

Welcome to Wells Fargo’s hell week.

On Thursday, the banking giant reported it would pay $185 million in fines and had fired 5,300 employees after the staffers allegedly created millions of unauthorized bank and credit card accounts in customers’ names without their permission, CNN Money reported.

This followed a Sept. 3 firestorm on Twitter as ballerinas, actors and other creative types used their platforms to slap the bank senseless for an ad campaign whose message they interpreted as “get a real job!”

The latest mea culpa came as Wells Fargo took out ads Friday noting allegations that customers had received products and services they didn’t want. The bank cited changes it was making to prevent such problems in the future, such as automatic emails to customers and enhanced training and disciplinary measures.

To read the full story, log in.
Become a Ragan Insider member to read this article and all other archived content.
Sign up today

Already a member? Log in here.
Learn more about Ragan Insider.