A few months ago I wrote about Metropolitan Bank’s advertising blitz on the heels and in the midst of heavy quarterly losses. I labeled the bank’s efforts “Advertising over Bad PR”. Can it work? Is it a smart strategy? At the time, I was willing to take a wait and see approach. I thought maybe with enough money the bank could bury the bad PR under an endless flight of ads. Today, my mind has closed completely on this strategy. I firmly believe this heavy ad spending is a total waste of the client’s budget. The only winners from the bank’s nervous strategy are the bank’s ad agency and all the media vendors. The revenue is rolling in for them while the negative headlines keep popping up for Metropolitan. What’s really ironic is these negative stories stating “millions of dollars are being lost” are being printed in the same publications that are running the full page “we are strong and proud” ads. For me, something is not right about that; a true example of bad advertising. The opportunity lost here is what might have been done if all the ad spending so far (which has to be hundreds of thousands of dollars) would have been put into a smart, aggressive PR plan to take on the bad press directly. I think we would have seen some significant results for the bank. Instead, the eagle ads continue to clutter our mediums. And, from what I’ve heard from others, they have not changed perceptions. Most people I’ve talked to still think the bank is in trouble, and a few have gone as far as saying it may not make it through next year. I personally have no idea what the bank’s overall financial condition is. And I do hope that this Arkansas-based business gets through this and enjoys continued success. But what I do know, for certain, is that negative PR can not be easily buried by advertising. Even if you have lots of ads to throw on the pile and all your ads have eagles in them.