Bank advertisements draw public ire

David Westlake
Mesa Legend

People in the art industry are up in arms about a Wells Fargo advertisement posted in banks all over the country. Artists call the advertisement as belittling their career choice. One ad shows a young woman sitting down and holding a pen and the caption next to her reads, “A ballerina yesterday, an engineer today. Let’s get them ready for tomorrow.” Another ad shows a young man smiling as he holds a test tube.  The caption next to him says “An actor yesterday, A botanist today…” Broadway performers took their issue to social media, stating Wells Fargo is highlighting careers in the arts as “second-rate.”

Zane Rodriguez is a Mesa Community College student and long-time actor.  “It should be up to the individual to choose their own career path,” he said, “It’s easy to attack an artist and say that they’re just dancing, or painting a picture. But that doesn’t capture what they actually do. The arts has the ability to provide skills for an individual that can be applied into multiple disciplines. These are traits like problem-solving skills, or communication skills.” Even a student studying to be an engineer disapproves of these ads.  Sarah Westlake is a junior at Arizona State University has been in both the arts and robotics. “Neither one is harder than the other. They’re different, yet… shaming one and pleasing the other can have horrible backlash on society as whole,” said Westlake.

Rodriguez admits the Wells Fargo advertisement is simply just that, and ad that does mean much.  “To be honest, I wasn’t that offended by the ad. I can see why people could be, especially since young people are deciding what to do with their lives, and I don’t think an individual or company should have a say in that,” he said. After the attacks went public, Wells Fargo apologized for the ads. The possibilities of reactions may differ based on age and life experience. For example, high school students may react differently than college students. “… If I was still in high school and I saw that ad, I wouldn’t be bothered, because I wouldn’t let anyone other than myself decide what career path I should take”, he explains. The ads will not be seen again, and now what remains is a memory.

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These are archived stories from Mesa Legend editions before Fall 2018. See article for corresponding author.

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