On Monday, I posted about an incredibly sleazy debt counseling commercial, and promised to find out who it was and post their BBB rating and some other information.
Well, apparently this ad is a “turnkey” job, where an advertising agency creates the commercial, and then plugs in the phone number of whatever company buys the ad from them. In other words, the company running the advertisement here in Northwest Indiana might not be the same company that uses it in Cleveland or Las Vegas or Anchorage.
Basically, that means I can’t call them out by name and post their BBB ratings, because it could be many different debt counseling companies.
However, what I can do is post a couple screenshots, so you’ll recognize it when you see it.
This is not a real news broadcast:
Subtle, isn’t it?
Everything I have said or am about to say is my opinion. In other words, if your debt counseling company has been using this ad, save your time, money and breath. I’m not going to soften my position on this out of fear of litigation, because you haven’t got a case.
I believe that any debt counseling company that is using this advertisement is deliberately misleading consumers. They are running an advertisement specifically designed to trick people into thinking it is a genuine news broadcast (fine print or not), and that the President endorses their services. I would not give this advertisement a second glance, but if you want to figure out who is running it and what their BBB rating is, just for fun, try catching the phone number and Googling it when it appears on your TV.
If you are running a legitimate debt counseling company and have been using this commercial, I would stop running it immediately. You are going to damage your credibility because of people like me throwing you under the bus with the scumbags. You may be providing a wonderful service to those who need it, but your advertising is telling a different story.
If you are running a legitimate debt counseling company and have been considering using this commercial or similar, don’t. I don’t care how cheap it is. You don’t want to paint yourself with the same brush as the crooks. Looks sleazy? Is sleazy.