Nationwide ad ban puts NCA in the spotlight – again

New Commercial Arts is kicking up plenty of controversy this week. First it was complaints about its current Alzheimer’s Society campaign being too distressing, and now the Advertising Standards Authority has banned NCA’s Nationwide relaunch ad from last October.

There were 282 complaints against Nationwide – including one from rival Santander – all questioning its claim that, unlike other banks, it wasn’t closing branches.

It seems that Nationwide has (according to the ASA) been stretching a point. Some of its branches might remain open but they have reduced their hours of business, and the “no closures” claim confused people who have seen branches close recently – it is in fact about future plans which it intends to honour, if only until 2026.*

If any publicity is good publicity, New Commercial Arts is having an excellent week. The “Long goodbye” film for the Alzheimer’s Society has been the subject of newspaper columns – both positive and negative – as well as attracting stories about the 128 complaints (and counting) to the ASA.

Both Nationwide and Alzheimer’s Society were awarded MAA Ad of the Week. For an agency whose creative output has sometimes been accused of not matching up to its new business might, NCA’s strongest work is certainly getting its clients noticed.

*Now extended to 2028.

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