The Russian bank, the Bruce Willis ad and the $900m sanctions battle

Ministers warned that millions owed after alleged fraud by ex bosses of National Bank Trust could help fund Putin’s war effort

In one of Russia’s most high-profile marketing campaigns, film star Bruce Willis appeared in cinematic advertisements with a car chase and a rooftop rescue, ending with the slogan, “Trust is just like me, but a bank.”

The campaign for National Bank Trust in 2011 – which included cardboard cutouts of Willis popping up in 400 branches across Russia – was credited with raising the bank’s profile and boosting business.

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