Now then, surely there are infinite lessons to be learnt here about all manner of business dealings. But I'd like to focus on a couple of important lessons for marketing and advertising.
PANIC! - Surely the complete lack of understanding in the public shows a total lack of PR and a failure to get across the real message of Northern Rock's situation. (They arent going to collapse, they were just struggling to get new funding to give out new loans and mortgages..only now after people withdrew 1.2 billion pounds in three days are they at risk of collapse)
You Can't Hide - If Northern Rock had been more open about the problem they might have allowed their customers to understand the situation instead of waking up to hear their family say "Our bank and mortgage provider is in trouble...shit". Ring any bells...Cadbury's?
Its unusual how individual desire to save your own money goes at expense of causing people to lose theirs. If no one took out their money the bank would be fine, but no one wants that. They all want their money, sod everyone else. And they say advertisers are unethical.