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Swiss bank UBS embarrassed by attention to dress code, changes policy February 12, 2011

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
Tags: , , ,

Swiss bank UBS attempted to craft an image of power and respect in 2011 with a 43-page dress code for all of its employees. Its list of “do’s” and “don’ts” however led to the company being the subject of widespread mockery. UBS instructed all employees to wear only neutral colored suits, to have their hair properly and frequently treated, and to always clean their eyeglasses. Women were told to wear skirts at the length of the knee, and to wear “light makeup consisting of foundation, mascara and discreet lipstick.” The list went on and on.

When the bank’s dress code was made public, however, it was ruthlessly mocked. So surprised were so many internet users after reading the story that UBS was eventually forced to revisit its style guide. The company issued a statement saying that it was reviewing its policies, even though it remained dedicated to creating an impressive image for its customers.

For more on UBS’s dress code and how surprised many people were when hearing about its details, see the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Why have so many people been surprised by UBS’s dress code?

2.  How might UBS’s dress code have worked in combination with its PR efforts to create a stronger image?

3.  How might an episode like this have hurt UBS’s reputation?

4.  Did the company respond effectively to the public’s concern about its dress code? If so, then why? If not, then why not?



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