The $1 billion Gesa Credit Union, a pioneer of the latest “ditch your bank” branding effort, has no problem with the widening industry campaigns of bank-bashing.
“We say welcome to the party,” said James Delyea, senior vice president of the Richland, Wash., CU, which last fall wound up a four-month online blitz that Delyea said brought in about 700 members and was keyed off the spate of negative media coverage.
Separately, this week, DitchYourBank.com Inc., a Minneapolis-based marketing affiliate of The FoolProof Initiative, said it has added two complete consumer websites to its own national “Ditch” campaign.”
"We're providing these websites at no extra cost for credit unions that want to include more consumer advocacy in their ‘Ditch’ campaigns,” said DYB President Renier Chris. The websites normally cost $12,000, said Chris, but will be provided for free.
FoolProof, which has long promoted its financial literacy endorsement by state credit union leagues and the Consumer Federation of America, said it holds a trademark on the phrase, “Ditch Your Bank.”
With no connection to Foolproof, Gesa’s campaign still running on a separate website is called “Ditch Your Bank and Switch to Gesa.”
Regardless of the trademark matter, DYB said it will be giving “free use of it to any credit union that wants to do its own ‘Ditch’ campaign.
“Any credit union is more than welcome to use the ‘Ditch Your Bank’ phrase,” or develop its own campaign around the concept, said Chris.
“We've trademarked the slogan to mainly protect it from being swooped up by some bank or bank group,” Chris added. “No bank would have the nerve to offer true consumer advocacy to its customers. If they did, the bank would have to recommend that their customers join credit unions.”