Remember Harry and Louise? I don’t, but apparently they were a fictional couple in an early-90s TV commercial, produced by the insurance industry to help sway opinion against the Clinton health plan. Now banks and other financial companies may be pooling resources to create a new “Harry and Louise” style ad to convince Americans that Obama’s proposed agency to monitor abusive financial practices will limit choice and ruin lives.
According to Jessica Holzer of Dow Jones Newswires, “Four public relations firms, including Powell Tate and Direct Impact, pitched their ideas for the television spot at a meeting” that was attended by “representatives from the National Association of Realtors, the American Bankers Association, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the Financial Services Roundtable,” and organized by the American Financial Services Association. They haven’t made any formal statement yet about running ads, but it’s obviously being discussed.
The vice president of the American Financial Services Association told Holzer, “We’re not considering running ads against anything as much as trying to … ensure we don’t move forward, in the haste to do something, with the wrong type of approach.”
If they do create the ads, expect to see them as early as this month. In the meantime, you can get your industry propaganda fix by watching the old Harry and Louise spots:
“Groups Mull ‘Harry And Louise’ Ads To Sink Consumer Agency” [NASDAQ via TNR] (Thanks to Heather!)