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Polish Banks Battle Over Celebrity Endorsements

Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 3, 2011 03:00 PM

If New Zealand ends up banning brand endorsements by celebrities, they can always head to Poland.

Polish banks are on a spending spree so far this year to hire celebrity endorsements, such as Antonio Banderas, to bring the funny to the business of money.

Polskie Radio's The News website reports that in the first four months of this year, Polish banks spent 237 million zloty ($85.9 million) on TV advertising, “with almost half that sum going to Polish celebrities as endorsement fees.” That’s a massive jump from last year when the banks only spent 190 million zloty ($68.9 million) on celebrity endorsements.

The site notes that this year, the celebrity recipients have all been Polish but that hasn’t always been true. In 2008, John Cleese — an avid endorser — was hired by BZ WBK to inform that more than 38 million residents of Poland that he “likes pierogi dumplings and has an aunt in the southern town of Pcim.” BZ WBK went on to employ Danny DeVito, Gerard Depardieu and Antonio Banderas, whose latest spot is at top.

A good chunk of the endorsement money spent in the first quarter of 2011 are for long-term endorsement deals, The News points out, citing the 67.7 million zloty ($24.5 million) doled out to TV and film star Marek Kondrat by ING Bank Slaski, or the 43.9 million zloty ($15.9 million) that actor and TV presenter Hubert Urbanski is raking in from Millennium Bank.

As The News points out, though, there may be some backlash to all of this celebration of celebrities. It reports that Internet-based mBank has just launched a campaign with a tagline (and mock paparazzi, below) that translates into English, “Rather than satisfied celebrities we prefer satisfied clients.”

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