On December 8 Absa posted on its Facebook page campaign activation promoting a loan package on offer.
“Buying the perfect engagement ring can be financially challenging. Get an engagement ring she has always wanted with a personal loan,” the copy accompanied by a black young couple read.
Nazli January summed up the prospective clients sentiments when she immediately responded “This is ridiculous.”
She was joined in by at least almost everyone else who responded to the ad campaign, with the bank told in no uncertain terms that they were encouraging reckless spending and that in black culture men save for the rings.
Nkazimulo Mkhululi Zuma responded: “Loan for a ring that is very stupid.” This was supported by Kabelo Marcus Ngwasheng who said “this is terrible financial advice.” Tamia Msane added “This is terrible.”
The responses were not just curty and terse though. The bank was given substantive reasons to withdraw the ad.
“This is harmful and irresponsible advertising. A ring is the most unessential item imaginable and even the idea of taking out a loan for one is palpably absurd. Please stop encouraging this nonsense,” said Ashleigh Andipatin.
Other users were not as polite and had no time to exchange pleasantries with the site’s administrator.
“This ad smells worse than a pile of industrial strength horse manure. Making a loan for an engagement ring.? Seriously? Why not a deposit on a home. Or a loan for a small businesses?,” Daryl Daniels wrote.
Absa was also asked whether it understands its audience or was just taking a stab in the dark with this campaign.
Katlego Nelson Ditibane wrote “This ad is in bad tastes… You are completely out of touch with your audience.””Instead of encouraging people not to make debt ABSA is enticing people to further indebted themselves. What a bunch of exploiters,” outraged reaction to the ad continued from Jika Hlola Ngina Coetzee.
Busisiwe Mikateko Chauke took it further. “Absa stop encouraging rubbish. If he needs a loan for just the engagement ring, will you loan him money for the wedding? And then the house? And then the school fees when the kids are born? Haibo ”
Portia Wa Mabaso broke it down futher: “Whooo shame Absa never loved the people. Personal loan for an engagement ring hayini who put this ad together? Entlik Kahle kahle you wanna (own) everything…the houses we live in, the cars and now moes it’ll be Absa proposing to the womanhopefully you’ll not repossess her if the Dude can’t pay.”
Franky Chucky brought in a perspective most followers seemed uninterested in – “People always complain. I wonder if would they be complaining if they didn’t hear all the political ABSA bailout.”
There was another pertinent matter brought to the table. What if the engagement broke down?
“And the next thing you break up ,now you have to face the heart break and paying back the loan. This is not a wise financial move at all,” Paul Tumba Enzo quipped.
Leila Snow asked “Sooo, it’s not okay to go into debt for an engagement ring, but totally okay to go into debt to pay lobola (in some cultures) and have the biggest flashiest traditional/white weddings out? Eau de Hypocrisy, now available at Red Square, Woolworths and Foscini.”
Many others also wondered why an image of a young black couple was used when statistics show that this is a demographic that needed to be financially savvy.
And the bank’s response? “We are sorry that you feel this way regarding our post.”
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