Mystery blonde becomes a headache for bank
THE TV advert with its picture-postcard scene was meant to show how NatWest keeps villages moving.
But the use of a mystery blonde woman customer using its mobile banking service has caused a storm in the normally sleepy Devonshire village of Dunsford.
The blonde – who isn’t seen from the front – is featured as a local shopkeeper, just shutting up her business briefly to visit the banking service.
However, there is only one local shopkeeper, village postmistress Ilona Lapka – who also happens to be blonde. And she says it’s certainly not her.
She says the advert’s implication that she shuts up during the day to “bank” is harmful to her business and she plans to sue the bank for misrepresentation.
Lapka, 48, says she is not a NatWest customer and uses a different bank through her own post office.
In the advert, the NatWest mobile bank van pulls up in the village high street. Lapka’s business, Dunsford Post Office and Stores, can be seen in the background.
A bank staff member serves the blonde customer, who tells her: “I just pop up to the end of the road and look up to see if you’re there yet, and when you are I can just shut the shop and nip up.”
Lapka said: “The advert features my village and a woman claiming to run the local shop saying she’s closing to visit a NatWest. I run the only shop here. There’s only one shop in the village and that’s mine. People started making jokes when it first came on air… But then someone actually complained, saying the postmistress should practise what they preach and bank at the post office.”
NatWest this week claimed the blonde woman was a “genuine NatWest customer”. However, she is not recognised by the village’s 688 residents. A spokesman denied Lapka had been misrepresented.
“The individual who appears in the advert is a NatWest mobile bank customer,” he said. – Daily Mail