For some reason, I was never a Citibank guy. I love Citi Field in Queens, home of the NY Mets and once applied for a job at Publicis to work on Citibank. That said, I do have a rewards credit card in my wallet, but that’s more a function of American Airlines than Citi. Banks are not a category I get all warm and fuzzy about, with the possible exception of JPMorgan Chase, a brand I did a dive on a couple of years ago.
Today I was reading Andrew Ross Sorkin, a New York Times financial columnist, and as a result have newfound affinity for Citibank. It seems the boys and women at Citi Bank have decided to stop doing business with manufacturers and sellers of guns. Not an easy task. Certainly they will pizzle off the NRA. They will, as the story explained, suffer a number of credit cards being cut up and other lost relationships. Moreover, they will need to figure out how to shut down gun show work-arounds.
But what they have done is put the masses ahead of their bottom line. This is a level of cause related marketing I have not seen in a long time. I don’t know the Citibank brand strategy. I don’t know the CEO. I don’t begin to understand basis points and earnings. I do know balls. This is a ballsy cause.