This Canali advert is interesting. Consciously or not it shows the city boy considering his own image in a maze of mirrored glass. This is a time in which the city boy has had his entitlement challenged more than ever before. We like the idea that this ad represents an attempt to humanize the city boy, give the poor lad a chance.
The economic crisis has certainly done the image of the trading classes a lot of damage. They have had a hefty dose of criticism levelled against them, but we think there’s been another consequence . Those who work in the financial world have become human to us. For every attack on their inhumanity there has been a picture of a trader with his head in his hands.
In fact, this human turn has run right through the way the public encounter the financial world. Whether it is via NPR’s Planet Money Podcast, recent film Margin Call, or books like Alex Preston’s This Bleeding City we are being allowed access to this world in an unprecedented manner.
We are beginning to understand that for better or worse these suited frequenters of the DLR are the human cogs of a monumental money machine. They are not simply squash-playing robots, cognac-swilling automata – these are people that make decisions, make mistakes, and suffer the consequences.
Arguably, this humanisation has so far mainly happened through the means of critique. We wonder if this could form the foundations for a more sympathetic public image for the city boy.