Sunday, February 28, 2021

Watch Robinhood’s awkward Super Bowl 2021 ad amid stocks backlash

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This is awkward.

Trading app Robinhood — facing a PR crisis for its role in killing the “Reddit rally” — announced on Wednesday that it will be airing a commercial during Super Bowl for the first time ever.

The 30-second spot, which the company previewed on it website, focuses on the idea that anyone can be an investor.

“You don’t need to become an investor. You were born one,” the narrator declares in ad, which Robinhood says will kick off its largest-ever brand campaign.

But the ad comes as Robinhood faces enormous anger over its decision on Jan. 28 to ban users from buying stocks popular with small investors like GameStop and AMC —- leading to accusations that Main Street and Wall Street play by different rules.

A Robinhood user filed a class-action lawsuit Thursday, and by Friday afternoon thousands of investors were used an online service called DoNotPay.com to automatically join the suit.

The suit claimed that Robinhood limited the trading of video game retailer GameStop shares “purposefully and knowingly to manipulate the market.”

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Robinhood has denied the claims, saying it was forced to limit trading by its Wall Street clearinghouse until it could raise billions of dollars to back trading in volatile stocks like GameStop.

It’s since raised $3 billion and has largely eased the restrictions. But it’s been working to regain investors’ trust ever since, including a full-page ad earlier this week in the New York Times, saying that it’s been “humbled” by recent events.

“We built Robinhood for our customers, for the millions of people who have felt left behind by America’s financial system,” the company said in a blog post announcing the ad. “We’re in this for the early morning jogger, the midday study breaker, the late-night nursery rhymer–because we all invest in ourselves every day.”

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