TRW Information Systems' campaign to improve its image with consumers is cannibalizing its effort to sell them credit report subscriptions.

The financial services unit of the large Ohio aerospace company agreed earlier this year to provide consumers one free copy of their credit report a year. But that appears to have undermined TRW'S heavily promoted Credentials program.

For a fee of $45 a year - recently raised from $35 -

Credentials provides subscribers with annual reports plus quarterly alerts about inquiries made into their credit history or the addition of negative data into their credit files.

The program, launched in 1986, had been hugely successful. At one time, more than 500,000 people subscribed.

But Martin Abrams, director of consumer affairs at TRW, said Credentials - once advertised on TV - is no longer being promoted, while its staff is being cut. Will Credentials die? It's in an "evolving" state, Mr. Abrams replied.

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