CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

Business

January 2, 2013

AIG to America: Thanks, Guys!

WASHINGTON — The giant insurance company that became the recipient of one of the biggest — and least popular — bailouts in history has a message for the American taxpayer: Hey, thanks a lot!

Just weeks after the Treasury sold off its final stake in AIG and closed out one of the ugliest chapters of the 2008 financial crisis, the recipient of $180 billion in capital injections and loans is launching a new public relations offensive to try to rebuild a, shall we say, strained relationship with the average consumer.

The advertising campaign is titled "Thank You America," the company said in a news release Monday, and it debuts New Year's Day. It spotlights the insurers' employees "telling AIG's story and sharing their pride in the company" and showing how the company has helped America rebuild after devastation — such as in Joplin, Mo., after a devastating tornado and in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Look for the ads in college football bowl games, NFL playoff games and news shows including "The Today Show," "Good Morning America" and "60 Minutes."

Now that taxpayers have sold off their stake in the company — and made a tidy $22 billion profit in the process — it is perhaps not surprising that AIG wants to recast its image. It is reminiscent of the memorable Clint Eastwood Chrysler commercial in last year's Super Bowl that managed to make buying a car from another bailed-out company (and one now run by Italians) feel like a patriotic duty. "This country can't be knocked out with one punch," Eastwood growled. "We get right back up again, and when we do the world is going to hear the roar of our engines."

And the "Thank You America" message shows how much things have changed in the four years since AIG's federal rescue. In February of 2009, for example, the company drew a fusillade of criticism for plans to pay bonuses to workers who were unwinding the complex financial deals that had brought AIG to the brink of bankruptcy. Outraged members of Congress called for the company to ignore its contracts with those workers.

Text Only
Business
  • Facebook tests button to let people shop from its website

    Members on desktop computers or mobile devices can click a "buy" button to make purchases through advertisements or other posts on the world's largest social network, the Menlo Park, California-based company said Thursday in a blog post.

    July 18, 2014

  • WSCC HILL.jpg Hill hits the ground running at Wallace State

    Marcie Hill of Double Springs likes taking on new challenges. As an 18-year veteran of the education system, Hill has taught first grade, sixth grade and served as a reading coach to students and teachers in Kindergarten through sixth grade.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • VIDEO: A boom in firework sales

    This year could be quite the boom for fireworks sales across the U.S. According to the American Pyrotechnics Association, or the APA, sales are already off to a good start.

    July 3, 2014

  • Edward Jones Recognized as 2014 Most Valuable Employer for Military by CivilianJobs.com

    Local financial services firm Edward Jones in the Cullman-area was named a 2014 Most Valuable Employer (MVE) for Military by CivilianJobs.com, recognizing the firm's deep committment to recruiting, training and retaining military veterans as financial advisors.
     

    June 23, 2014

  • CRMC welcomes Harrison.jpg CRMC Welcomes Adam Harrison, DO to the Medical Staff

    Cullman Regional Medical Center (CRMC) is pleased to welcome Adam Harrison, DO to the Medical Staff. Dr. Harrison is originally from Cullman and graduated from Cullman High School in 2002. He obtained his bachelor of biomedical science degree from Auburn University in 2006, and attended Wallace State Community College prior to Auburn. He received his degree in osteopathic medicine in 2010 from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine Georgia Campus in Suwanee, Ga. He successfully completed an internship through Columbus Regional Medical Center in Columbus, Ga., in 2011. He will complete his residency through UAB Family Medicine in Huntsville, Ala.
     

    June 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Deadly guardrails spearing drivers is whistleblower's crusade

    Harman is suing Trinity Highway and its Dallas-based owner, Trinity Industries Inc., alleging that it made quiet design changes that transformed guardrail systems across the U.S. into potentially deadly hazards.

    June 12, 2014

  • google-seo-search-results-screenshot.jpg Your new boss is going to Google you, so make sure she likes what she sees

    This is what a professional online reputation management "campaign" looks like: four people — one patched in via video — around a conference room table, jotting notes on laptops, carefully examining every trace of a client's digital existence and plotting a strategy to improve it.

    June 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • Merchants Bank promotes 1.jpg Merchants Bank promotes four officers

    The Board of Directors of Merchants Bank of Alabama, a community bank since 1907, recently announced the promotions of four key officers.
    Kerry Hanvey was promoted from vice president of retail banking to senior vice president of operations. Kerry joined the bank in 1992 and has served in various positions over this 22- year period. Kerry is responsible for bank wide operations for the five bank offices.
     

    June 11, 2014 4 Photos

  • Chamber's June Small Biz of Month.jpg Chamber's June Small Business of the Month winner

    The Cullman Area Chamber of Commerce recently awarded their Small Business of the Month award to Quick Tire Sales of Cullman. The award is given monthly to a local small business that meets nomination requirements. Victor Quick of Quick Tires Sales was thrilled for their business to be selected for this honor.
     

    June 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • $15 minimum wage puts Seattle in uncharted waters

    Depending on which pundit is nattering away, this means Seattle is either going to fall off the map and become a "Mad Max"-style economic wasteland or transform into an egalitarian utopia that inspires sweeping pro-labor activism nationwide.

    June 9, 2014