Banks have laid off thousands of people since the financial crisis, foreclosed upon millions of struggling homeowners and helped to upend the world's economy — but what really riles some customers is one bank's endorsement of mild profanity.

Capital One (COF) last week unveiled a commercial featuring the actor Samuel L. Jackson and his celebrated forthright delivery, including of a promise to offer credit card rewards "every damn day." The profanity is tame by most standards, especially from someone known for using much saltier language in films like "Snakes on a Plane."

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