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Wells Fargo Ad Bashes Arts Community

Do you think math and science careers are superior to careers in the arts? Apparently Wells Fargo thinks so. The company's ad to promote Teen Financial Education Day seemed to slap artists in the face and provoked a media uproar. (graphic/ Wells Fargo)

If you have not yet heard about the controversial ad recently released by Wells Fargo Bank, ask any artist how they feel about it.  Many will most likely agree it is an insult to anyone in the creative arts.  The Wells Fargo ad created to promote Teen Financial Education Day on September 17 (pictured below) seemed to place careers in math and science ahead of professional artistic pursuits.

Seems like a slap in the faces of the artistic Community, right?  The controversial ad set off a firestorm to social media.  Artists, actors and dancers resorted to outlets like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to criticize the ad and speak their true feelings.  Professional artists made an impact on their followers and Wells Fargo to prove their disappointment with the company:

It's a good thing we can rely on Laura Benanti to always grace us with her sense of humor:


— Laura Benanti (@LauraBenanti) September 3, 2016

Arts education saved my life and countless others. Artist life is beautiful. Don't listen 2 @WellsFargo- it's a trap

— Andy Mientus (@andymientus) September 3, 2016

Many referenced the Wells Fargo logo strategically placed on a wagon in The Music Man movie... awkward.


— Marc Snetiker (@MarcSnetiker) September 3, 2016

At least Wells Fargo's New Media Department had the decency to quickly issue the following apology to the arts community in response to the offensive ads:

We offer our sincere apology for the initial ads promoting our Sept. 17 Teen Financial Education Day.

— Wells Fargo (@WellsFargo) September 3, 2016

We cannot deny Wells Fargo actually does support the arts financially.  After all, the company has donated billions of dollars to support arts, culture and education over the years.  However, after this marketing crisis the Wells Fargo name has been slaughtered by theatres and Playbills across the county.

From an artist’s perspective, I was completely offended and flabbergasted that such a large company like Wells Fargo would not expect this kind of backlash from the media.  The insensitivity and ignorance of the company's marketing team has created an enormous problem for Wells Fargo that will never completely go away.

We hear enough trepidation over our career paths as artists from our relatives, friends, classmates and the overly opinionated/interested "know-it-alls." And now we have to deal with one of our nation's most powerful banks expressing this same discouraging opinion?  As a performing artist who has never stopped pursuing my dream of being a professional actress, I have been criticized my entire high school and college career for my career choices.  It is simply not fair of Wells Fargo to hint that any one career is more important than another. Of course we need engineers and botanists in the world, but we also need artists for entertainment, leisure, escapes, creativity, music, wholeness, love, joy and endless possibilities.  I woke up as an actress today, and I will wake up as an actress tomorrow...and the day after, and the day after that.

Thanks for the reminder, Wells Fargo!

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1 Comment

Elena Coleman says:

Do you think math and science careers are superior to careers in the arts? Apparently Wells Fargo thinks so. The company's ad to promote Teen Financial Education Day seemed to slap artists in the face and provoked a media uproar.

Submitted by Elena Coleman on Fri, 09/09/2016 - 12:13am

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