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WASHINGTON-A group of key credit union associations are teaming up on advertising in Washington, D.C. newspapers to counter the bankers’ recent efforts to tarnish the credit union image. CUNA, NAFCU, CUNA Mutual Group, U.S. Central, and the state credit union leagues are working together on an advertising campaign in an attempt to undermine bank efforts to get credit unions taxed. In recent months, the banking trade associations-the American Bankers Association, America’s Community Bankers, and the Independent Community Bankers of America-have launched a full-throttle, frontal attack on credit unions’ tax-exempt status, including newspaper ads and anti-credit union programs. The credit union groups have rolled out an advertisement of their own in highly-read publications on and around Capitol Hill, including Roll Call, The Hill, National Journal, and Congressional Quarterly. Another ad will be coming shortly, but nobody is sharing any details like the design of the next ad – though it will be harder hitting – the length of time the campaign will continue, or the cost. “We thought a combined credit union response made more sense..We wanted to show a unified front,” CUNA Vice President of Communications and Media Outreach Pat Keefe said. The credit union groups worked together and with some outside input into what the advertisements should express. NAFCU Vice President of Communications Jay Morris explained the organizations had to decide “what message would resonate well on the Hill.but a message that would play well with consumers, too.” Through the advertisements, he said, NAFCU, CUNA, CUNA Mutual Group, U.S. Central, and the state leagues are “trying to create an identity for credit unions” and discuss their strengths.

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