Bank Watch

Wells Fargo apologizes for ads that appear to value science over the arts

Wells Fargo has issued an apology for these advertisements that appear to devalue careers in the arts over those in science.
Wells Fargo has issued an apology for these advertisements that appear to devalue careers in the arts over those in science.

Wells Fargo is apologizing for advertisements that appear to value careers in science over those in the arts.

The San Francisco-based bank, whose largest employment hub is in Charlotte, generated backlash on social media from prominent artists over the company’s ads promoting its upcoming Teen Financial Education Day. “A ballerina yesterday. An engineer today. Let’s get them ready for tomorrow,” reads one of the print ads.

Another ad reads: “An actor yesterday. A botanist today. Let’s get them ready for tomorrow.”

Over the weekend, artists from “Frozen” songwriter Robert Lopez to “Glee” actress Jenna Ushkowitz took to Twitter to criticize the bank.

Wells Fargo issued an apology for the ads on social media, noting the campaign “fell short” of its intended goal. In its apology, the bank points out its support of the arts, culture and education totaled $93 million last year.

Wells Fargo, which employs about 23,600 people in the Charlotte metropolitan area, in a statement Tuesday to the Observer pointed out a long list of artistic events the bank has supported in the region. It also noted that Blumenthal Performing Arts next week will award the bank an award for being a business leader in the arts.

“In Charlotte, Wells Fargo is one of the largest corporate funders for the arts in the region, providing on average over $2 million in funding to local arts organizations,” the statement said.

Deon Roberts: 704-358-5248, @DeonERoberts

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