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Ally's 'bankers as cheaters' commercials pulled as document investigations continue

Ally Financial yanked its popular commercials that featured bankers as cheaters on Sept. 19--just days after the company halted evictions in 23 states after admitting that some documents it submitted in support of foreclosures were flawed.

The ad campaign, for the company's Internet banking arm and aimed at distancing the former GMAC from the struggling auto maker General Motors, focused on bait-and-switch schemes. Kids were promised certain things like ponies, toys and other presents but ended up getting something else. GMAC received a $17 billion bailout during the financial crisis and is now majority owned by the U.S. Treasury.

Fans called it brilliant. Critics were appalled when they heard the secret behind the dramatic reactions of the children when they learned they had been tricked. It turns out the kids weren't acting.

4closurefraud.org, an advocacy site for homeowners in distress, wrote that it's "Just like the typical smear campaign... Attempt to make others look bad and shift the blame because your practices are even worse."

The site has a spoof video featuring the company's now-infamous robo-signer Jeffrey Stephan.

Ally spokesman James Olecki said that the shift in the bank's advertising campaign has "nothing to do with the mortgage issues." "The bank ads are completely separate from the mortgage business," he said.

Olecki said the commercials "resonated very very well" with consumers. "And now we find that customers understand what Ally Bank is. So these new ads talk about the success of the bank," he said.


Complete coverage in The Washington Post:

Sept. 20: Ally suspends evictions on foreclosed homes in 23 states

Sept. 21: A single Ally employee, Jeffrey Stephan, signed over 10,000 documents a month without reading them

Sept. 22: Fake documents, forged signatures plague foreclosure system

Graphic: 'Robo-signer' Linda Green's changing signature

Who is Jeffrey Stephan anyway?

Sept. 23: Mortgage documentation problems could affect other states not included in Ally's 23-state moratorium

Sept. 24: Lawmakers question Fannie on 'foreclosure mills'

Document: Letter from Congressmen to Fannie Mae CEO

User poll: What should happen to foreclosure documents approved by "robo-signers?"

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | September 27, 2010; 10:50 AM ET
Categories:  Housing  
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Next: Connecticut orders Ally Financial to freeze foreclosures

Comments

Too bad. The ads were clever and funny.

The creators of those ads could do a great job with political ads.

Posted by: Garak | September 27, 2010 2:58 PM | Report abuse

All the lipstick in the world wont help this pig.

Open Letter to Jeffrey Stephan.

What you did wasn't very nice Mr. Stephan. You are a lamb that will be led to slaughter. Don't go down alone to protect your bosses.. There are govt. whistle blower protections (and rewards). Come to the foreclosurehamlet and tell all and maybe we can help you. I hope you have a good lawyer. You will need one.

Posted by: chunga85 | September 27, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

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