The Credit Union National Association is contemplating a ational advertising campaign to boost the industry's membership 2% to 100 million by the turn of he century.
The program would complenent the association's "Operation Moonshot." said Dick Nilliamson, a senior vice presdent of the industry's largest fade group. Started in 1991. Vloonshot's goal is to beef up nembership to 100 million by the year 2000. Currently about 66 million people belong to credit anions.
"It'll be a strong support for the Moonshot program," Mr. Williamson said. "It'll be tailored to fit the Moonshot program with an emphasis on image and philosophy."
An ad blitz has been discussed by officials of CUNA and individual credit unions for several months, Mr. Williamson said.
The Madison, Wis.-based trade group now is trying to find how much support it can count on from its affiliated state leagues, Mr. Williamson said. Some leagues already sponsor statewide advertising campaigns.
A nationwide campaign could cost between $3 million and $11 million a year, Mr. Wfiliamson Sajd. How it will be funded hasn't been decided.
A seven-person committee will meet Oct. 24-25 in Salt Lake City to prepare "a preliminary outline that defines campaign goals and objectives, possible funding mechanisms, and preliminary prolfam parameters," according to a CUNA memo dated Sept. 19.
Interstate branching is one impetus for the promotion.
John Tippets, president of American Airlines Federal Credit Union and a member of the committee, said the industry needed a higher profile now that banks would market coast to coast.
"We're going to be competing more and more with financial institutions with a national marketing campaign," Mr. Tippets said.
A recent survey by the Gallup Organization indicates the industry needs to do a better job of selling itself. Although members gave credit unions high marks, nonmembers believed banks were more trustworthy and offered better rates.
"There's just no national forum for credit unions," Mr. Tippets said. "The 60 million credit union members know well the advantages of belonging to a credit union, but that leaves 180 million people who don't."
From 1972 to 1985 CUNA sponsored a national advertising campaign, which included floats in Rose Bowl parades. Mr. Williamson described that program as "underfunded and underloved."
That ad campaign was dependent on contributions from credit unions, and died when interest fizzled out, Mr. Williamson said. A new program will be launched only if CUNA finds strong grassroots support for one.