Veteran Advertising Exec Not Impressed With Goldman Sachs Ad Campaign, Urges Them To Butch Things Up

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If you opened up a paper this week, you may have seen an ad taken out by Goldman Sachs. The full-page spreads, fround in the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, show a worker walking away from a bunch of wind turbines with the copy "progress is everyone's business," and are part of the bank's new pitch to get people to like them, or at least to the point where they can say the firm's name in public without the threat of harm. What did Jerry Della Femina, chairman and chief executive officer of Della Femina/Jeary and Partners think of the spots? Not much. What was Jerry's beef? In his opinion, the Masters of the Universe come off like pussies.

"They are running scared," Jer told Bloomberg. "This is the toughest, strongest, smartest financial company in the world. What are they doing, coming on all whimpering like 'oh, please like us'? If you don't like Goldman, then those people aren't going to care about this. If you're a Goldman fan and you think they're strong and they're driven, then this is going to make you lose a little respect for them. They sound like they're running scared, they sound weak. This is a big, strong, mean company. I want them to sound that way...tell me how strong they are. Tell me how powerful they are. Be a little tougher. Maybe be a little abrasive. This is soft. This is weak. I want to perceive them as being a big strong tough company."

So, okay, let's think. Jerry wants Goldman to show their "power" and not act like a bunch of little bitches. How can we paint this picture? How about a shot of this year's incoming analysts in leather at a biker bar or something? Or maybe Lloyd dick-slapping the SEC? Something like that? A glossy shot of Gary Cohn's testicles? Just the balls, nothing else, maybe lit from behind? Is that too much? Or not enough?

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Goldman Sachs Can Fix This

A week ago today, a man named Greg Smith resigned from Goldman Sachs. As a sort of exit interview, Smith explained his reasons for departing the firm in a New York Times Op-Ed entitled "Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs." The equity derivatives VP wrote that Goldman had "veered so far from the place I joined right out of college that I can no longer in good conscience say I identify with what it stands for." Smith went on to note that whereas the Goldman of today is "just about making money," the Goldman he knew as a young pup "revolved around teamwork, integrity, a spirit of humility, and always doing right by our clients." It was a culture that made him "love working for the firm" and its absence had stripped him of "pride and belief" he once held in the place. While claiming that Goldman Sachs has become virtually unrecognizable from the institution founded by Marcus (Goldman) and Samuel (Sachs), which put clients ahead of its own interests, is hardly a new argument, there was something about Smith's words that gave readers a moment's pause. He was so deeply distraught over the differences between the Goldman of 2012 and the Goldman of 2000 (when he was hired) that suggested...more. That he'd seen things. Things that had made an imprint on his soul. Things that he couldn't forget. Things that he held up in his heart for how Goldman should be and things that made it all the more difficult to ignore when it failed to live up to that ideal. Things like this: