Thursday 26 April 2018


How not to attract female customers to your bank

In the current series of Mediterranean Bank commercials there is one showing a man walking around his house and talking about what he should do with some money he wants to invest.

At one point he refers to perhaps saving it for his daughter’s wedding (daughter is shown sitting on the sofa staring into space as three guys with colorful headgear jump up yelling “yeah!” – she is not impressed).

The father then says that Mediterranean Bank told him about an investment plan which shows him how to follow his own investments and even trade himself…and here comes the clincher. He strolls over to a young man on a laptop and says, “I showed it to my daughter’s boyfriend…so now I’m not the only one investing in her future”.

My head almost exploded.

Say WHAT now?  He showed it to his daughter’s BOYFRIEND?  So that HE could invest in HER future?

I’m sorry but did we suddenly go into the twilight zone and end up back in the 1950s?  If whoever approved this commercial did so thinking that it would appeal to the bank’s customer base, perhaps they need to take a stroll around Malta and take a look at today’s realities:

1. Women work (they do not sit on a sofa staring into space)

2. Women are educated (they have even been known to use laptops)

3. Women do not only bother their pretty little heads about their wedding (I would have clobbered those three idiots behind the sofa with the nearest lamp)

4. Women can actually understand investment plans (a loving father would have sat down with his daughter, not her boyfriend)

5. Most women are going into marriage earning as much as their fiancé (“invest in her future” implies she has no money or savings of her own)

6. Couples getting married take financial decisions together (ignoring your daughter while waltzing over to your potential son-in-law speaks volumes about their future married life – good luck with that).

7. Any woman getting married these days who does not have some form of financial independence is taking a huge risk (what happens if the marriage breaks down? Will Daddy still be so thrilled he spoke to the son-in-law and not his daughter about investing?)

8. Oh, and before I forget: where is the man’s wife in all this? Does she have a say in how the extra money HE has is being invested? (or is this just a way of perpetuating the kind of marriage model where the man controls all the money?)

9. And finally, se mai, you invest in your children’s future (women are not children who need to be taken care of. I almost expected the two men to pat the young woman indulgently on her head. There, there, go back to your soap operas dearie.)

Now, if the bank’s image of their typical customer base is embodied in condescending middle-aged men who speak of their daughters as if they were possessions who need to be “handed over” to another man who will take care of them for the rest of their lives, then they have made the perfect commercial.

But any woman seeing that commercial who has an ounce of dignity will be outraged at the message and the implications of that message.

I know I was.



  • R Attard

    Haha! My thoughts exactly! I loathed this commercial the second I saw it. Those 3 “clowns” behind the sofa are meant to represent Brazil 2014 though (I think). References to the south american world cup are also present in the other 2 commercials.

  • M baron

    You’re right…women want EVERYTHING ansd they end up with NOTHING!

  • Charles Borg

    I’m sorry but you extreme feminists simply keep dropping the stone on your own foot. The commercial does not say that the father told the boyfriend about Mediterranean Bank so that he could manage all the girl’s money. The father simply told the boyfriend about the Bank’s services so that he too could start using them. And what’s so wrong with saying that the boyfriend can now invest in the girl’s future. It makes no difference who is making the money – if he makes more money it will go to a brighter future for both of them, including the girl. You are so intent on claiming that everything that goes on in this world is sexist and anti-feminist that you are becoming your own worst enemy. Grow up for god’s sake.

    • Seriously ?

      I agree ! Feminists are never happy with the women’s role whatever it is ! If men decide to do everything for women they make it look like women are incapable and don’t need men. If men decided to let the women do everything they make it look like women are being treated as slaves ! xejn ma jsoddhom

  • VIctor Laiviera

    Well said.

  • Grace

    @ Charles Borg. Wouldn’t it be better if the father told his daughter about the Bank’s services, so that she would start investing in her future. There is nothing wrong with telling the boyfriend, but in this day and age both the men and women invest in their own future, and when they enter into a relationship they are better off, because they both bring their own investments into the relationship,

  • Charles Borg

    Grace – Yes there would be absolutely nothing wrong and that would be the ideal scenario. Actually, more women should start taking the initiative of taking care of their own money and investments. However the point of my comment is about the extreme reaction of the author of the article. I have no connection whatsoever to the Bank in question, and I am in no way speaking on the bank’s behalf – however, the commercial is absolutely not an example of sexism or anti-feminism. It is the author of this article which has interpreted it in such a way and I can assure you that it didn’t even cross the minds of most women that such a commercial is sexist. Moreover, we all have roles within life – it is wrong to say that women should be confined to cooking and men take care of all the rest. But both sexes have their identity and this should be preserved. It is largely the practise in most countries that the man takes care of ‘most’ of the family’s finances and there is NOTHING wrong with this. Just in the same way as the woman usually takes care or most of the cooking and cleaning. And there is nothing wrong with this – as long as women are left to act according to their own free will. If they want to take care of their own affairs then they should do so. Others (or should I say most) would rather leave such matters up to their male partner as it is simply not their piece of cake – my wife would rather I manage the finances and it has always worked well – plus she has always had all the money she needs even though I am the one who takes care of things. What some feminists are advocating today actually goes against the ideals of marriage – in financial matters for instance, most feminists would insist that a ‘what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is yours’ mentality is adopted in a relationship. Where is the trust in such a relationship – if you’re getting married then you should have a mindset that says ‘ours’ and not ‘yours and mine’ and you should be comfortable enough with your other half to have a single estate rather than two divided estates, and if need be, one of the partners managing such a joint estate. If you’re already thinking that one day you might get divorced so its better to think ahead and have your assets in your own name then you shouldn’t get married in the first place.
    What the author is doing in this article is instilling a mentality that there should be no sexes – but one sex for both genders. Women have their own personality and they should be allowed to have it, as do men. Women usually prefer shopping to cars and men prefer cars to shopping – and guess what, there’s nothing wrong with that! So why should it be wrong to assume that the woman does more ‘at home’ than the man does, whilst the man is the bread-winner and manages the family’s finances. There is absolutely nothing wrong with this, as long as women are allowed to change it if they want to. But most women actually don’t – they’re quite happy taking their husband’s credit card on a shopping trip but leaving all the rest to the husband. So dear Josanne Cassar, take a chill pill and start living in the real world. Also, stop fighting battles that don’t even need to be fought.

    • “I can assure you that it didn’t even cross the minds of most women that such a commercial is sexist.”
      And I can assure you that many thought it was, unless you are presuming to speak on behalf of ALL women now as well?

  • Alex

    you also forget the only woman in the same commercial is the only one who inherited a sum of money…. sort of implying that women do not save or earn enough to invest.

  • Gordon

    Finally someone put to words what I have been thinking but too lazy to write. The part of the boyfriend jarred too much. It felt like a fifties advert.

  • Mark Bonnici

    It’s a commercial. This specific one is targeting a set audience (a different generation). They have another one which draws a different picture. What irks me is this need to make everything so personal. Don’t be offended so easily by everything.

  • Trevor

    @ Grace. That may well have been a great idea but it’s this constant nitpicking by extreme feminists which is harming their own cause. I’d be very happy that my daughter’s boyfriend cares enough to “invest in her future” while knowing all too well that she has the brains and willpower to do so herself.

    • Laura

      Well said.. I am also very capable of making my own money, but love the idea that my boyfriend is planning and investing in our future, and would not have it any other way.

  • Charles Borg

    Trevor and Mark couldn’t have said it better. And no Josanne, I am not speaking on behalf of all women – although you seem to have given yourself the authority to do so; which is what is so wrong with your tone and attitude. I only say one thing – women have been in high places since time immemorial and those who have reached such high places have reached them because they were capable. What you feminists want is some sort of quota or law saying that women and men should be exactly equal when in fact they are not. Women are better at some things and men are better at others. We all have our advantages and disadvantages. Sadly, Maltese feminists seem to still be living in the 50s when feminist movements wanted quotas on workplaces and the such, only to find out by themselves that by making such demands they were harming their own cause and implying that they were inferior and thus should be given special protection by the law. If you’re a woman and you’re competent at what you do then nothing and nobody can stop you – we have women CEOs of multibillion dollar corporations, women presidents, women prime ministers…and the list goes on. Those women got to where they are because they were competent, fullstop. If you want to live in a world where women get to high places just because there should be as many women as there are men in positions of power then you can just forget it because it will never happen. Women like you let down the entire female population by expecting special treatment just because you’re women “u tghamluha tal-vittma”. And real women don’t make a huge fuss about some stupid commercial either. I very much doubt Mediterranean Bank’s bottom line will be affected by articles such as this, so if you want to do something good for women try another way.

    • Talk about going off on a tangent. Charles, where on earth did I mention quotas? As for the rest of your patronising and frankly rude comments towards me, both here and in your previous two posts, you are simply confirming the whole point of my article. Thanks for that.

  • Charles Borg

    You didn’t have to.
    What’s rude is your condescending tone in the article.

  • Marie Benoit

    I have worked with Josanne for many years and we have been friends for a good many years too. Let me assure you that she is NOT a radical feminist. She is a woman who knows her rights and, like me, will not be treated like an idiot.
    I have not had the pleasure of seeing the advert but I shall look out for it.
    I would like to add that WOMEN ARE TOO TRUSTING. Many of us have been fortunate and have/had decent and honest partners/husbands who looked after our interests. But as we all know, this is far from being so for everyone.
    I meet PATRONISING men to this day and I am a grandmother. I meet CONTROL FREAKS who have their woman under their thumb; he may buy her a mink but will not give her a penny; she has no idea what he earns and he does not want her to know; he may be in debt or a gambler and she may find herself without a roof over her head overnight while she thought he is well off; he will not allow her to drive and so on. Do you know what these women tell me:’ If I leave him where on earth can I go? I am in my Fifties, have not worked during our marriage and do not have a penny to my name. What can’t be cured must be endured.’ Then there are those who in their andropause of whatever it is, in their Fifties leave with a Russian/Bulgarian of whatever; leave and buy a Harley Davidson; leave and say they are gay after all. This is why women have to know what is going on on the financial side and keep tabs of their internet accounts and ASK QUESTIONS. This is why they have to learn about investments and money matters. Most men are decent but some are not and if you happen to land on one of those then you are in trouble. So, if that is being FEMINIST then I believe that ALL women with common sense should be feminist. They owe it to themselves.

    • Marie the advert is embedded in this article

    • Charles Borg

      Yes Marie you make some very valid points, but being over-trusting etc are not innate female traits. Anyone (including males) can be over trusting. I’m sorry to say that if a woman is over trusting then that is her problem and should not involve the rest of the female race just to get herself out of her pickles. Any intelligent woman like yourself will choose a good husband in the first place. I am sorry to say that if you can’t even tell whether your own boyfriend and husband to be is gay, then you have much bigger problems. And I don’t mean to be rude here, but the root of the problem is that most women simply make bad choices when it comes to men, and then they have to live with them. Men sometimes make bad choices also when it comes to women, and we just accept that we made a mistake and we live with it. We don’t bring the essence of the male race into it. If as a young woman you make a bad choice then you’re to blame because you’re the one that got yourself into the problem. That said, any woman should be financially independent, but not to the extent that a married couple has a complete separation of estates. A woman with some common sense will not only survive in this world but also thrive. That’s all you need – whether you’re married or single or divorced or whatever. If you don’t have that then you can’t blame anyone else for your problems and expect to become one of the charity cases of the feminist movement.

  • Marie Benoit

    I skipped the advert thinking it was an advert for Interflora or kitchens!
    Not a good advert to attract women certainly. Patronising. Again. Another man, with all the good intentions in the world, patronising his daughter. Girl sitting down doing nothing while her boyfriend is at the computer and so on. I agree entirely with what you wrote Josanne.
    Treat women like grown up, intelligent beings. It’s Ibsen’s The Doll’s House all over again. I thought that play was démodé but clearly, still very relevant in Malta. Mediterranean Bank should go back to the drawing board. Perhaps it would do it a world of good to have a woman on its Board. They don’t have any. I’ve just checked. At least half the population living in Malta is female and they hope to attract some of us to their bank. Put a woman on your Board. Seven men on its Board and no women; 8 senior officers and one woman. Take my advice. Put a woman on your Board. Even the World Bank has put a woman on top! If you do I shall come and open a small account to show my faith in you.
    As to those three idiots behind the sofa…. words fail me.

  • TF

    Patronising men are still very much alive and kicking in Malta. You find them in board/corporate meetings, on the road, and in columns like these, just to mention a few places. No wonder women have to act like feminists to make a point. Such men would never even consider that what Josanne is saying could have an ounce of truth.

  • mummy

    @Charles Borg….by any chance did you write or produce the idiotic advert? It’s condescending to women, it’s stale, it’s dated. I’m sorry if this kind of criticism offends you so much but really don’t you get it? Loads of women thought it was stupid…now you can rant and rail but that’s a whole target audience pissed off…not such a good marketing ploy

  • Svetlana

    are you serious ! your view of this commercial really shows what kind of person you are ! actually….. NONE ever said they are investing the WOMAN’s money !!!! They are investing in her future THERFORE she is being actually treated as a princess, as whislt she is doing nothing, her father and boyfriend are taking care of her.

    Jesus Christ you and your extreme feminism !!!!! I wonder if it was the other way round you would have probably said that men expect there daughter/girlfriend to do everything for them and make her look like a slave !!!

    Its a double edged sword with you and those like you !

  • ML

    mid-dehra certu nisa m’huma kuntenti bxejn u jaraw x’jghamlu biex jaqilu il-paroli ! jekk isibu ragel li jghamillhom kollox igibuwa li il-mara mhux kapaci tghamel xejn, u jekk isibu ragel ma jrid jghamel xejn igibuwa li il-mara qed tigi trattata ta skjava !

    xejn eee…. da kollu qalawh minn fuq riklam li fl-ebda punt ma semma li qed jinvestu il-flus tat-tifla ! u ghal min saqsa fejna l-mara, forsi il-mara qeghda xoghol !!! Josanne, sort out yourself and don’t delete this comment, freedom of speech is for everyone not just for yourself.

  • Charles Borg

    Svetlana and ML – well said. All the rest… do not despair, one day you will realise who is truly right.

  • Charles Borg

    And for all those who criticized me for giving my opinion on women when in fact I am a man, please take a look at all the other comments by other WOMEN agreeing with me. I’m actually sorry I wasted so much time writing all these long comments. Nothing will convince you. Maybe its about time you realised that rather than attacking people such as me you should get off your laptop and do something meaningful rather than comment about how unfair the world is and how sexist this bank is etc etc… The world is a harsh place.. and there’s not much anyone can do about it.

  • L. Galea

    @ Charles Borg, The world is a harsh place.. and my you are harsh. Perhaps you do not know but very long comments are generally ignored so please be brief next time. Perhaps we should all agree with you just to make you happy, since no one can have an opinion that does not agree with yours. The advert is very lame.

    • Charles Borg

      Well some people need to be spoon fed to realise that what they’re saying is untrue and illogical, hence the long comments. Thankfully it seems that you still decided to read my comments, even though they are long. And who are you to say that the advert is lame? And don’t tell me whether I should be long or brief. You clearly have no counter arguments, which is why your comment is so short.

  • L. Borg

    The ad is pretty lame but what bothered me most are the rude comments made by Charles Borg saying ‘you extreme feminists’ etc….totally unnecessary….by all means feel free to disagree with the article, but your angry approach and old-fashioned rhetoric is telling of your own backwards mentality, probably why you relate with the condescending ad, sounds just like you

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