‘Lady Loans” cause credit union to draw fire

A New Zealand credit union found itself in hot water after running a loan campaign that some women say is sexist.

Banks and credit unions have long known women that exhibit a disproportionate level of control over household finances. For at least two or three decades, financial marketers have tried various techniques and tactics to woo women.

NZCU Baywide is the latest financial draw aim at the women’s market, but instead of striking a chord the ad campaign is drawing fire from critics who deride the credit union’s approach as sexist and insulting.

The focal point of everyone’s outrage is a microsite the credit union launched in September. “Loans for Ladies” encourages women to borrow between $1,000 and $50,000 for “an all-day makeover, a shopping spree, or that second car you’ve always dreamt of …anything goes honey!” Rates on ladies’ loans start at 13.95% — hardly a bargain.

The microsite sports a retro-50s style — aqua and pink, with vintage cartoon depictions of women — with a series of obnoxious captions. “Cinderella is proof a pair of shoes can change your life,” reads one caption on the microsite. “Sometimes you need to put a little extra in your purse to treat, pamper or just make yourself feel like the goddess you are.”

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