By Erik Holm
American International Group Inc. (AIG), the insurer that needed an $182 billion government bailout in the depths of the financial crisis, said it is launching an advertising campaign to thank the American people for their help.
The two-week campaign, scheduled to debut on Tuesday, includes a television ad that features several AIG employees talking about the company's turnaround and its repayment of the bailout to the government at a profit.
The U.S. Treasury effectively closed the book on the bailout earlier this month, when it sold its final slug of AIG shares, exiting with a positive return for the government of $22.7 billion.
Chief Executive Robert Benmosche, who came out of retirement to take the helm at AIG a year after the bailout began, is included in the ad but not identified by name in a version of the ad posted on YouTube Tuesday.
"When we make guarantees for people's lifetimes, we have to act as a company that will make sure we are here for their lifetimes," he says.
AIG's bailout was at one point the most controversial of the rescue packages for troubled U.S. companies, but one federal officials said was needed to prevent a catastrophic meltdown of the global economy.
AIG said the spots will run during NFL playoff games, on national morning shows and during the Golden Globes, while print ads will appear in major publications and prominent online ads will run on several websites. AIG said the Wall Street Journal and WSJ.com were among the outlets.
AIG used Boston marketing firm Partners+simons for the campaign.
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