When I read yesterdays headline in the New York Times, “A.I.G. Reports Loss of $61.7 Billion as U.S. Gives More Aid,” I thought I remembered having seen commercials that they had run about their financial stability. Sure enough, a YouTube search brought up a series of such commercials with the tagline being “The Strength to Be There.” The one that most caught my attention featured a little boy who couldn’t sleep because he was worried about his family’s fiscal future. His parents calm his nerves by saying, “Buddy, we’re with AIG” at which point he volunteers to go back to bed and tuck himself in. [link]

According to that New York Time article,

The government intervention would be the fourth time that the United States has had to step in to help A.I.G., the giant insurer, avert bankruptcy. The government already owns nearly 80 percent of the insurer’s holding company as a result of the earlier interventions, which included a $60 billion loan, a $40 billion purchase of preferred shares and $50 billion to soak up the company’s toxic assets.

This past September when the bailout began a series of blogposts pointed out the irony of the AIG commercials. For example, this post at Consumerist.com includes links to three such commercials, and this post at WallStreetFighter.com links to eight AIG commercials.  This post at 1to1media.com indicates the ads were still running as of the middle of September and raises the question as to when companies should “stop whistling past its own graveyard when problems arise, and address its customers’ concerns?”. Even the New York Times got on board with a blogpost suggesting that the new tagline for the above commercial should be changed to “Buddy, we’re with the Federal Reserve.”

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