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RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif. – Radio listeners in California and Nevada are hearing about the benefits of credit unions, including how they help promote competition among banks, in a $6 million advertising campaign launched by the California/Nevada Credit Union League. The 60-second spots, which began running the week of Jan. 17, are part of the League’s ongoing public advocacy campaign. Newspaper ads in targeted markets, including the state capitals of Sacramento and Carson City, are expected to begin running by the end of February. Initially, three radio spots are being aired in 28 large and small markets throughout California and Nevada. About 10 percent of the ad buy is airing in Spanish in predominantly Hispanic communities. The ad campaign is scheduled to run through the Fall. The spots are being financed by League members through a special assessment which was approved at the league’s annual convention last November. As part of the ad campaign, league officials plan to track the impact of the ads on the public as well as on elected and appointed officials. “We are conducting ongoing consumer research to determine the effectiveness of the ads in reaching and educating consumers,” said league spokesman Henry Kertman. “We will soon begin polling of opinion leaders – that would be federal, state and local elected and appointed officials – to determine the influence of consumers on them as a result of the ads and a more informed consumer base about credit unions,” he added. Each radio spot presents a different message although common themes run through all of them. One of those themes stresses that credit unions provide healthy competition for banks. “This healthy competition encourages other financial institutions to try harder to keep their own customers satisfied,” says one ad. “So even those who don’t belong to credit unions benefit. Because when banks and credit unions compete, everyone wins.” Another theme notes that credit unions invest in their communities. “Whether they’re serving their members, or strengthening the local economy, credit unions are about people helping each other. Which means that when members invest in their credit union, they’re actually investing in their community,” says another spot. “. . .Credit unions. They’re how communities share the wealth.” A third spot discusses the fact that credit unions offer the public a choice of financial institutions and that “choice is power.” After extolling the virtues of credit unions, an announcer asks listeners to “imagine the consequences we would have to deal with if not-for-profit credit unions weren’t here. And the freedom of choice they have always offered was suddenly gone.” The spots were put together by Foote Cone & Belding in Southern California. -

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