Russian Bank Whose Ads Feature Bruce Willis Gets Government Bailout

Vince Bucci/Invision for Geffen/AP Images

Willis did a series of TV commercials and on billboards was pictured next to the slogan "Trust is just like me, only it's a bank!"

Russia's Trust Bank, which used Hollywood star Bruce Willis in its ad campaign, has fallen prey to an overall economic crisis. The government had to step in and provide a $540 million bailout package, taking over supervision of the bank's operations in exchange.

Willis has been featured in the advertising campaign of Trust Bank, Russia's 32nd largest bank, since 2010. In TV commercials and on billboards, he was pictured next to the slogan "Trust is just like me, only it's a bank!"

The most recent TV commercial featuring Willis was released two months ago. In it, the actor saves a girl from a crumbling building, simultaneously helping a bank customer with his financial issues.

The commercial was directed by Joseph Kahn, known for music videos for the likes of The Black Eyed Peas, The Chemical Brothers and U2 and commercials for Acura, Bacardi, Vodafone, Budweiser, Renault, Coors Light, Saab, Ford and PlayStation.

At the time of the ad's release, the bank said it had high hopes for the television ad campaign.

"As a result of our previous TV ad campaign, which ran in May and June 2014, the overall number of applications for all kinds of loans from individual customers was up by more than 40 percent," Dmitry Chukseyev, Trust Bank's vice president for communications, was quoted as saying by the web magazine Sostav.ru.

News about Trust Bank's financial problems triggered a wave of sarcastic comments on social media, with some users suggesting that running an expensive ad campaign featuring a Hollywood star must have contributed to the bank's financial problems.

Incidentally, the Willis ad campaign stirred controversy last year when the ad agency BBDO Russia, which ran the campaign, sued the bank for failure to pay its bill in full, Russian media reported. Eventually, the matter was settled out of court as the bank paid the agency its outstanding debt of $250,000 (7.5 million rubles).

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