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When the replacement for Mini Alan popped up, I really saw Red

From Priya Shome

Like many people working in the intermediary sector, when BM Solutions launched its Mini Alan desktop icon earlier this year I downloaded it. For those not familiar with Mini Alan it was a mini cartoon icon of Alan Cleary, formerly BM Solutions’ head of sales, and it alerted you to product changes made by the company, along with other relevant information. In short, a great idea.

When Cleary moved on to bigger and better things within HBOS I wondered whether it would replace his cartoon character. The answer to this came earlier this month when I started up my laptop. I saw Red (literally) when the replacement for Mini Alan popped up. Red is a young redhead with a busty figure sporting a short skirt and high heels. The cartoon icon regularly moves around, showing off her curves. So clearly BM Solutions is aiming this mascot at what it feels is its target market – older men who love a bit of eye candy.

While hardly offended by Red, I think BM Solutions may have got it wrong. One of the new breed of mortgage brokers, Purely Mortgages has 32 advisers of whom over two-thirds are women. We have found that many of our top sellers are women, many of whom regularly use BM Solutions. These advisers do not identify readily with Red and, by choosing this approach, BM Solutions has succeeded in alienating future high performing mortgage advisers in the same way other companies have by using bunny girls at trade events.

It just goes to show that even with its cutting edge technology, BM Solutions can’t help harking back to the dinosaur age. Why not dress Red in furs if you’re going to do that?

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