Washington - Thank you, Dan. On behalf of Secretary Paulson, welcome to the Treasury Department. And welcome to the launch of our new multi-media campaign to help consumers understand more about their credit.
Credit can be a helpful tool for a healthy, prosperous financial existence. But all too often, many Americans fall prey to the pitfalls of not using credit wisely. This is especially true for young Americans who may have a less thorough understanding of credit and who tend to think less about the consequences of their financial decisions today.
In partnership with the Ad Council, Treasury has decided to take action. Today we launch a new campaign aimed at helping young adults think twice about their spending habits and how their behavior today can affect their credit history tomorrow.
The campaign, which targets 18-24 year-olds who are already in debt or about to get into unmanageable debt, will use Public Service Announcements to provoke a second thought or a pause when considering the true cost of a purchase. Our hope is that through this campaign, young adults will develop more thoughtful and conscientious spending habits.
As you will see, the PSAs end with the tagline "Don't let your credit put you in a bad place." And as we all know, poor credit history can do just that. It can cost you a job, car loan, apartment, or even cause public embarrassment.
The campaign includes new television spots, radio spots, web banners and a new web site. It also includes a radio spot in Spanish, and a Spanish-language version of the web site, which is very important.
These new PSAs from Treasury and the Ad Council will air in advertising time donated by the media.
In addition, the PSAs direct people to a new website: www.controlyourcredit.gov
On this new web site, visitors will find free financial information and tools, as well as play an interactive game, The Bad Credit Hotel, that explains the importance of having a good credit score.
I would like to thank Treasury's Office of Financial Education and its outreach team for working so diligently on this important campaign.
I would also like to say that we are pleased to partner with the Ad Council on this. Over the years, they have brought us Smokey the Bear, McGruff the Crime Dog, the Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk campaign – just to name a few of their tremendously successful campaigns. And now, with the help of Lowe Worldwide, we hope that the Bad Credit Hotel will be included as another piece of their memorable collection.
To help us officially roll out the new campaign, I would like to introduce Ms. Kathy Crosby from the Ad Council.