BRINGS US UP TO SPEED
Lloyds TSB is under fire for giving children as young as 11-years-old debit cards without informing their parents. The cards are reportedly being sent directly to children, raising fears that they are being used to buy cigarettes, alcohol and pornography over the internet. It was reported that one 15-year-old boy had used a card to buy Viagra on the web.
THE MEDIA REACTION?
The story was picked up by most of the nationals including The Daily Telegraph, The Times, Daily Mail and The Guardian and also appeared on BBC news. Most of the coverage has been negative. Politicians and debt groups are up in arms, with Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat's Treasury spokesman, quoted as regarding the move as 'deeply dispiriting'.
WHO ARE THE PR PLAYERS?
Lloyds TSB's internal media team. Its main message has been that it is up to parents to keep a check on how children use the cards and says there are safeguards to ensure they cannot be used on adult websites. It has also said its actions have been in line with industry practice.
ANYTHING TO LEARN?
As one PRO put it, it is a 'classic balls-up' and will take Lloyds TSB's firefighting skills to get over it. The company was made to look like a corporate giant exploiting young children - the very last thing it wants to be. A key lesson in how business should be conducted with PR, as well as profits, in mind.
£300 - Amount under-16s can withdraw a day.