Bank of America Promotes New Flick, Raises Concerns
Controversial coupon promotion offers free 3-D upgrades
By LEANNE TA
Updated 7:57 PM EDT, Fri, Mar 20, 2009
A week before it hits theaters, DreamWorks Animation's newest flick is already raising a few eyebrows.
The much-hyped Monsters vs. Aliens, an animated film featuring Reese Witherspoon, is receiving a boost from Bank of America, which is offering its customers a free upgrade to see the movie in 3-D, Forbes reported.
The move has prompted criticism from those concerned with the bank's use of the massive bail-out funds it recently received.
"We find it odd that a bank that just received $45 billion in government aid is paying for consumers across the U.S. to see a movie in 3-D vs. 2-D at no extra cost," wrote Pali Research analyst Richard Greenfield in his blog (registration required).
Bank of America spokesman Joe Goode defended the bank's promotion, saying that it was a way to reward customers for their loyalty and support. Each of the 55,000 ticket upgrades is valued between $2 and $5.
With a relatively small price-tag of $175,000, the promotion is a cost-effective way to pass on savings to customers, Goode told the Daily Beast.
The bank is pursuing promotions in "a strategic and cost-effective manner to grow our business and generate returns for investors—a group that now includes the American taxpayer," he said.
Bank of America denied any connection between its new promotion and the fact that DreamWorks Animation president Lew Coleman was formerly vice chairman and chief financial officer of Bank of America.
Earlier this year, the institution came under fire for spending $10 million on a Super Bowl party, a figure that the company disputes.
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