Commentary: Wells Fargo ignores black newspapers

Commentary: Wells Fargo ignores black newspapers
April 13
13:00 2017

Dr. John E. Warren

Guest Columnist

We see that Wells Fargo Bank certainly has a problem with its customers. We know for a fact that a number of those customers happen to be African-American and Latino and that these two ethnic groups have been faithful clients of this bank.

At several times throughout the discussion of the wrongdoing by bank officials in terms of directions given to employees, statements have been made by the bank CEO about rebuilding customer confidence.

One of those steps was the running of a series of full-page ads in daily newspapers seeking to reassure bank customers. The problem is, none of those ads ran in African-American newspapers or as far as we know, in Latino newspapers.

It appears that the Wells Fargo idea of rebuilding customer trust with its new ad campaign does not include Black newspapers. In October 2016, Wells Fargo launched its first nationwide campaign to address its sales practices.

Data from a New York media tracking firm showed Wells Fargo advertising expenditures increasing by 115 percent to $183.8 million in the first two months of 2016 compared with the year before. Those dollars did not include the African-American print and online services.

In October alone of last year, the expenditure for advertisements was increased by 32 percent on a yearly basis to $27.5 million.

Now, Wells Fargo has announced a major advertising campaign for the month of April 2017. This campaign is to “rebuild customer trust.” The problem is that once again there has been no interaction with African-American newspapers, which are read by people who have accounts with Wells Fargo, but happen to use other than “mainstream” or daily newspapers.

Consider that community newspapers are found in all of our ethnic communities, not just African-American, Latino, or Asian. The failure to use these newspapers suggest that the bank as a government regulated institution does not include communities of color as a matter of public policy. This is not acceptable.

Perhaps we need to share our concerns with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency within the U.S. Department of the Treasury. which has oversight jurisdiction over all financial institutions in this country.

The correspondence should be addressed to Mr. Thomas J. Curry, Comptroller of the Currency. U.S. Department of the Treasury, Washington, D.C.

Dr. John E. Warren is publisher of the San Diego Voice &  Viewpoint Newspaper and intergovernmental affairs contributing writer to the National Newspaper Publishers Association.

About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors