In its nascence, punkÂ rock was all about making waves in the establishment, and no one will dispute the enshrined place of legendary English turned-up-to-eleven obscenity-driven anarcho-rockers the Sex Pistols in the genre’s canon. And yet, somehow, I doubt that Sid Vicious could have predicted a branded Sex Pistols credit card.
Yes, you read that correctly: Virgin Money, a financial services company backed by Richard Branson’s megacorporate interests, has debuted a range of aesthetic treatments for its cards that feature the iconic band’s logo and album-cover imagery fromÂ Never Mind the BollocksÂ and theÂ Anarchy in the UKÂ single.
“It’s time for consumers to put a little bit of rebellion in their pocket,” a bank press release said, quoting the company’s Director of Cards, Michael Greene.Â “The Sex Pistols challenged convention and the established ways of thinking – just as we are doing today in our quest to shake up U.K. banking.”
Apart from the blazing-hot, nearly absurd level of irony that encircles a Sex Pistols credit card – the association of consumer credit with one of the most famously anti-capitalist bands ever to walk a stage (a move which has provoked much outcry on social and web channels, most of the “punk is dead” variety) – there is a certain naÃ¯vetÃ©Â built into such a statement.Â Given the current state of dependence on borrowing and credit (at least in Canada – though not without similar consideration for those living across the Atlantic), it is evident that more than a little branding aimed at old-school punk fans, now likely in comfortably late-middle age, is necessary to perform a shakeup to the banking system as drastic as the one the Pistols themselves enacted on English popular culture.