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SALT LAKE CITY – There’s still plenty of buzz here about that front-page Wall Street Journal article on the bank vs. credit union wars, but that hasn’t impeded the Utah League of Credit Unions from resuming its popular “You/Bob the Credit Union Guy” TV ads. A new group of the TV advocacy commercials were to hit Utah airwaves later this month after the league took what it said as a “pause” in the ad series last year. Cost of the new ad campaign was not disclosed, but Scott Simpson, the president/CEO of the league, said the commercials are part of a three-year advocacy campaign promoting industry awareness. In addition to TV, the Utah League has used billboards and radio in the past. The new series of commercials, re-edited from previous footage and produced by Cosmic Pictures of Salt Lake City, were to be previewed last week at league offices before a group of CU marketing executives. A year ago the so-called “blue dot” ads featuring a friendly “Mr. Bob” touting CU services and leaning on “you” making the choice of financial institutions, were well received in Utah with a similar campaign tried in Oregon. “Those blue dot ads worked well,” commented Joe Tippets, director of communication for Deseret First FCU. “Since there was such negative material going out, they were positive, low key and noncombative.” “Those ads make you smile,” said Tippets. While the Wall Street Journal article was reprinted in the Deseret News as it was in several cities, Tippets said it is hard to gauge its impact considering Utahans are used to reading about the bank/CU conflict. The article “was simply a summary of what’s going on,” said Tippets adding he has not heard much from the Utah public regarding the contents of the article. League officials said the ad launch is coincidental to the article, which had both a positive and negative slant on CU expansion, said Simpson. “There were portions that we had hoped would have been written differently,” he said. The reporter did interview Simpson as well as Rick Craig, president/CEO of America First FCU of Ogden. Also involved was the chairman of the league, John Lund, executive vice president of America First. Simpson called the remarks of Zions Bancorp Chairman Harris Simmons “pretty much par for Simmons.” The chairman of the American Bankers Association “plays on one note” in attacking CUs, he said. His time could be better spent “improving his bank,” jibed Simpson. -

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