Before and After: Barclays tries to blend in with other, more honest, buildings. (Reuters)
So it turns out the Barclays brand is soiled - literally.
In a wonderful congruence of metaphor and reality, the beleaguered bank has taken down the main sign from its Canary Wharf skyscraper for a good clean.
The symbolism is inescapable as customers sharpen their scissors, run around in search of a camera to capture them chopping up their debit cards and kick anyone wearing pinstripe. One could forgive Barclays for wanting to keep a low profile.
A Barclays spokesman insisted that the signage removal from its global headquarters was long in the offing, as the sign started to buckle under years' worth of pigeon guano. But considering the rage the mere mention of the word Barclays tends to foster in the average Briton still irritated about the hike in their pasty budget, removing a visual reminder of its headquarters can't do any harm.
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Of course, Barclays itself is unaffected by the Libor scandal in real terms but its image has taken a knock despite the majority of people previously having thought Libor was the name of a Game of Thrones character.
If you actually spot a Barclays employee on the street they will normally scream "look over there" before hiding in the nearest wheelie bin in case their protestations that they only bought three tubs of diamond-infused hair gel that week is ignored by the frenzied masses looking to burn them live on television while Stephen Merchant provides a delightfully unscripted voiceover.
Long story short - Barclays needs to clean up its image.
So what happens next?
- Barclays brings back the sign, but with a friendlier font and perhaps a tagline, such as "Sorry about that", "You look great by the way" or "Bollinger-free zone". The previous suggested tagline of "Look Ma ... No Morals!" was ditched for being "too on the nose".
- The new sign also introduces Barclay's new trustworthy character, Bobo the honest banking bear. Cue a series of television adverts showing a CGI big-eyed Bobo dancing around the English countryside, farting pink clouds full of generous interest rates and generally being so cute that everyone forgets what they are even angry about.
- It's revealed that the old sign was actually given to Bob Diamond as part of his golden handshake. As Diamond revealed, while trying to patronise the faces off the Treasury select committee, that he "loves the old Barclays" what would make him feel better than the ability to spoon the old smog-stained sign atop his pile of tear-soaked money?
- Barclays puts up a new, clean sign exactly the same as the old one, proving this was all an uninteresting coincidence ... and thus making this article pointless ... ahem.
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