Bank Shot

Wells Fargo Bank’s decision to sell ad space on its ATM screens has drawn fire from Commercial Alert, Ralph Nader’s advocacy group in Washington.
Since March 1, Wells Fargo ATM users at 340 California sites have been subjected to three on-screen ads each time an ATM terminal is used. The first, offering discounted ski tickets to Lake Tahoe resorts, runs before a card is inserted. A second, for online bookstore Amazon.com, pops up during the “transaction processing” phase. The third ad, which rotates among several Bay area non-profits, appears as the machine dispenses money.
“This is the latest example of how advertisers will stop at nothing to put an ad in your face,” the advocacy group’s director said.
The San Francisco-based bank, which has the third-largest U.S. ATM network, plans to run the ads on 6,248 machines in 21 states if the California project is successful.
Lisa Rossi, a bank spokeswoman, said the ads have no effect on transaction time. “We are not pestering consumers, but are giving them an added benefit,” she said. –Wendy Melillo