Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is now considering a corporate branding campaign in a bid to improve its battered reputation, and has even discussed placing its chief executive, Lloyd Blankfein, on the "The Oprah Show," a spokeswoman said Tuesday.
Fiona Laffan, Goldman Sach's head of media relations in Europe, Middle East and Africa, told a communications industry event in London that Goldman Sachs, as an industry leader, needed to do a better job of explaining what it did and how.
Laffan gave a hint of changes in how Goldman Sachs worked with the media to alter negative perceptions about the 141-year-old bank.
She characterized Goldman Sachs' image as having "gone retail," referring to public scrutiny in the wake of the credit crisis and a Rolling Stone magazine article that described the bank as a "vampire squid." That article "was a key moment for us — very well written, provocative and very one-sided."
Laffan said Goldman Sachs' years until its initial public offering in 1999 had influenced its response to wide public criticism. "We found ourselves in a place that we're quite uncomfortable with … it's all been very challenging."
Among the bank's conclusions: "perceptions of the firm directly affect our license to operate."
"There are people [in the bank] who think we should go on 'Oprah.' I'm not one of them."