I read in the issue Aug. 22 issue the letter, “Call for ‘Bank’ Entries,” [page 14] that Gregg Stockdale from 1st Valley initiated. I am in total agreement and have been for years. I call myself the last of the purists because I can remember how hard we have fought as a movement and just cringe every time I see the word “bank” used in credit union advertising. But, I am outnumbered by my CU contemporaries. Seeing this call to action from a fellow purist gives me hope that the credit union industry may still surprise itself.
I have no idea of what will transpire legally in Vermont and how it may affect CUs in other areas. But I can say this for the overall use of the word “bank” in CU advertising, why do we want to use it? Granted, I have been long enough in the industry to have been in the grassroots efforts to preserve the credit union movement for longer than most. But, it seems to me that we have a duty to continue to educate the differences between a credit union and a bank and that by using the work bank in our advertising, we only hinder the progress.
I challenge my marketing colleagues to use your creative juices to find alternative words. It’s not that hard. (Internet account access in lieu of home banking, for example.) And there are credit union awareness themes probably not thought of yet that will produce even better results. I fear that some have just given up trying or use agencies that do not really embrace the spirit of the credit union movement or talk us into the easy alternative. We should rise to the occasion to stand apart and showcase our difference. It is time again for a national credit union awareness campaign that truly brings the credit union to the forefront of the consumer’s mind.
Patricia M. Veal
Vice President of Marketing
Pen Air Federal Credit Union