Much-loved actress and comedian Julie Walters, for eight years the voice of Lloyds TSB, is to become, literally, a national treasure. Almost. The ailing bank has been forced to sell an 85% in the Smethwick-born artiste to HM Government, making her the first actress to undergo near-total nationalisation. She is currently valued at £9.73 million.
‘Celebrity voice overs are an incredibly important part of any TV commercial strategy’ says advertising expert Pete Lampton. ‘Julie’s voice is friendly, reassuring, and very much of the people. Exactly what’s needed to personify the values of 21st century banking. ‘It’s for the journey’ is, in Julie’s rendition, an intensely powerful message.’
Neither Ms Walters nor advertisers knew that the journey’s destination was massive indebtedness for the British public and financial misery for millions. It’s not known whether Ms Walters banks with Lloyds TSB, but Lloyds can no longer afford to bank on Ms Walters, who can command fees of £100,000 a day for praising the troubled bank in a much-loved Midlands accent.