Putting In Their Two Cents' Worth, And A Whole Lot More

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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - If 1997 and 1998 proved nothing else it was that credit unions do their best creative work when their backs are against the wall.

The victories by the banking industry in the court systems and the resulting limits on FOM expansion-and threats to FOM expansion-led to advertising and marketing efforts all over the country by credit unions explaining to members, the public and their respective elected officials just what was at risk. In addition to the work created as part of the national Credit Union Campaign for Consumer Choice, various state leagues and individual credit unions also responded with their own unique, and often very effective, efforts. Among them:

* The Texas Credit Union League spearheaded a statewide campaign of media advertising and media visits first under the umbrella "Stand Tall for Texas Credit Unions" and later "The Right Road."

* In California, Cabrillo FCU summed up the banks vs. credit unions battle in its newsletter with a spread headlined, "Good vs. Evil."

* Arkansas' credit unions began including two pennies (their "two cents worth") in every letter sent to Congress, and also sent penny jars to congressional offices to hold the pennies.

* Missouri's CUs sent jars of beans to elected officials to show CUs don't amount to "hill of beans" compared to banks.

* In York, Penn., Forst Capital FCU ran radio ads that concluded, "Hasta la vista, banky."

* The Maine league oversaw creation of a series of TV spots featuring real Mainers with the theme, "The members own it. Your Money, Your Choice." Later, the league ran newspaper ads headlined, "The banks have had their day in court, and the consumer lost."

* St. Mary's Bank, the nation's first credit union, ran a newspaper ad headlined, "Why Do Business With A Bank When You Can OWN One."

* Aberdeen Proving Ground FCU created an ad showing children shackled by handcuffs that read "BANKS" with the headline, "protect their freedom of choice." (c) 2007 The Credit Union Journal and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.cujournal.com http://www.sourcemedia.com

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