I get a lot of mail from my credit union, and most of the time it's pretty uninteresting. Account balances, promotional materials, and brochures about "community" usually end up in my recycling bin, but except for the tree damage they're basically harmless. Not so for the members of D.C.'s U.S. Senate Federal Credit Union, which recently sent out a sexist pop-up mailer simultaneously mocking and sensationalizing women and their breasts.
Recipients saw this:
Tacky font, no?
And opened the pop-up to reveal this:
Oh, BIG PLANS. Now it makes sense!
After a change.org petition on the mailer gained some steam last week, U.S. Senate Federal Credit Union posted a non-apology apology on its website:
It has come to our attention that the imagery and message in a recent marketing direct mail campaign has offended some of our membership. It was not the intention of this marketing campaign to insult, demean or in any way offend anyone in our field of membership.
The Board of Directors and Senior management personally apologize to the membership of the United States Senate Federal Credit Union for this action.
The comments and opinions of our members recently received are very important to the Board. We will always value your opinion, membership, and support of the Senate Federal Credit Union.
We will also work diligently and constantly to keep your confidence in our leadership.
Ah, the old "sorry you're offended" approach. How about, "sorry we degraded women and their bodies by using a blurry cleavage shot as a sight gag to get you to borrow money from our credit union" instead?
I'm sure I don't have to tell you what's wrong with this mailer. The faceless breast model next to the "please borrow responsibly!" line seems like a clear (and shitty) boob job reference, and the "you've got a lot of living to do!" line appears to be directed at whomever they think wants to bone this anonymous hottie (all of their customers, apparently). The inside of the mailer says: "Preparing for life changes can be overwhelming… You have to live through it AND figure out how to afford it. That's where we come in. The US Senate FCU is here to help. We can propose products and services to assist you with financing everything big and small." BIG AND SMALL GET IT?
Credit union members who contacted the organization directly with their complaints about the mailer received this automated response:
Thank you for your feedback regarding our recent mailings. We sincerely regret the message we conveyed did not meet with your approval. Our marketing efforts have evolved with the times as we seek to relate to various life events of our membership. These may include paying for such traditional things as for weddings, children's braces, and purchasing autos but also more personal activities that many people seek nowadays. We recognize any of these may not directly relate to anyone's personal situation, and we will make every attempt to exclude you from future mailings. We appreciate you letting know of your concern, and will keep your feedback in mind in the future.
Sr. Member Services Officer
Another non-apology apology, and what is she getting at here? What are the "more personal activities that many people seek nowadays"? (Methinks they have something to do with the cleavage depicted in the mailer.) Also notice she says "we will make every attempt to exclude you from future mailings" instead of "we will try not be so douchey in future mailings." Hey, their marketing efforts have "evolved with the times"! Get with it already, you old fuddy duddies! Boobs are the thing nowadays!
Ugh. In exchange for your sexist mailer and bogus follow-up "apology," please accept this Douchebag Decree, U.S. Senate Federal Credit Union. We will make every attempt to exclude you from future mailings.