Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Fighting Fire with Fire

You are a powerful federal agency with a longstanding beef against a company that has thumbed its nose at you (and, it can be argued, continues to do so). What do you do? You fight fire with fire and mock them by producing an advertisement that spoofs that company's own marketing vehicle.

The Federal Trade Commission released a send-up of the (annoying) series of advertisements promoting a supposedly free service for obtaining a copy of you consumer credit report.

Here's a copy of the FTC's advert (which it says is a public service announcement).

The notorious credit monitoring company issued a statement in response shortly after the FTC's release. Here's a line from the release: "[company] provides paying members with continuous access to their credit report and credit score with a paid membership."

Yes, I am intentionally avoiding any mention of the company's name (no SEO props here), which is also its Web address, but the fact that the company -- the very name of which claims to be free -- says it provides its "paying members" with certain services is at the heart of the FTC's longstanding feud. If you've ever dealt with that company, you'd have a sense of why I'm rooting for the FTC on this one.

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