Apropos of not very much, earlier tonight I saw an advert on TV for Barclays Business Banking. In it you see a very slow transparent shoe making machine. The voiceover tells you that 4 out of 5 business loans are approved and suggest that this particularly shoe company get a loan, get some big shiny cogs in their machine and suddenly they can make shoes faster.

Now, as an analogy and image, this much is fine, but the voice-over goes on to suggest that the shoes being made are old-school jazz shoes and therefore there is a slight(?) implication that there might not be much of a market for them. I get the need for keeping dull finance light-hearted and appealing. But, given all that has gone before, surely an advert that clearly implies that Barclays have given money to a company with a dodgy product is, well, a bit against message? Or are they trying to convince the government that they are much more about lending to businesses than they are about risk assessment and due diligence. That particular dilemma I never really understood, viz: “You took too many lending risks so we want you to lend more to small businesses”. It’s all about a calm assessment of risk and viability- but no one ever really says that. Too dull to be politically useful.

I’m sure this doesn’t reflect in any way of Barclays Business Banking, I can’t comment if they are good bad or indifferent but who came up with and approved the tone of that ad? Does it not say “even if you have a niche product no one is likely to buy we’ll help you fail quicker“?

You could argue that the voice-over person is meant to give an quirky c0mmentary and his opinion on the product needed necessarily reflect the viability of the business. But why take that chance?

Told you it was apropos of nothing. I may as well have started this with “Y’know what grinds my gears…