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Posted 13 September 2008
5 Comments

I was just downstairs watching tv with my better half and saw a commercial by American Express that quite frankly, left a very nasty taste in my mouth. You have undoubtedly seen it (as I have already seen it like four times in 30 minutes). It goes something like this:

The scene is of some business people having lunch, and when the bill comes, the one guy pulls out his comic-book hero card to pay for lunch. The clients (who are german) comment in their native tongue that the card looks like something right out of kindergarten. They laugh at the guy, and quickly leave the table.

The commercial then proceeds to show the business partner (a woman) pull out her American Express Gold card and in a condescending tone says “I’ll get it,” dropping her card on top of his “childish” card.

I cannot begin to tell you how wrong this is on so many levels. It’s a typical (and despicable) psychological game often found in the world of advertisers. Make you feel ashamed of what you have so they can sell you their product instead.

What’s wrong with a comic-book card? Doesn’t it still represent money? Did I miss something? I don’t think so…but American Express certainly did. I’m sorry, but I am no less powerful as a consumer because I pay with something other than your piece of colored plastic. The point that you are trying to make could have been done so much more tactfully and respectfully — instead, you have managed to insult a great number of potential clients. Congratulations! I hope you fire your ad agency, because I’m very close to firing you.

5 Responses to “AMEX – Shame on you!”

  1. Disillusioned Amex Employee Says:


    I, too, was offended by this ad and even more so by the one where the man at the airline ticketing counter is turned over to security because his card had kittens on it. I work for American Express and have until recently considered it to be a reputable and well run company. By choice, I am not a card holder and do not have any credit cards as I was raised to live within my means. I have “good” credit, i.e. a mortgage and student loans. This kind of trend in advertising is not the only source of shame and disillusionment. Amex is sending jobs to India and whatever doesn’t go will be outsourced to vendors. So, if I’m not valued enough to work for them, what makes them think I’d ever want the card if I were to choose to have one?

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