I don't know if you've seen the Debt Crisis in America commercials on television or not, but when I saw them, I thought, "This is a whole new level of scummy advertising." If you haven't seen them, you can watch two of them here. I can't decide which one is more scummy. Here are some tactics that I notice right off in these commercials:
- Imagery of Washington D.C. landmarks including The White House - This gives an aura that this commercial is endorsed by the government when it is not. It's hard not to see how one could get confused by this.
- Scrolling News Ticker - This makes it look like a news channel like CNN, CNBC, or Bloomberg. News stations like that are generally considered reputable and typically follow the journalistic principles when reporting information.
- Special Announcement! - How is that to get your attention?!?! What's special about this announcement? There is no information in this "announcement" that I don't see 5 to 10 times a day.
- Speedy facts and figures - It's
- Credit Card and Debt Help Line = 1-800-000-0000 - Ever try dialing that number? Well I'll get to this later on.
- Transferring the "News" Coverage to Someone Else - Moving the coverage to another person in the way they do is very much like how the news transfers to a different reporter on the scene.
- Call to Action - The commercial ends with a strong message that the solution is to call the number below - which seems reputable for all the reasons above.
You want to know the scummiest part of all this? The actress/fake newsperson asking you to make that call has no connection to the service they are offering. That's because this commercial isn't even designed for one specific company. It is made to be re-branded for any and every debt settlement company in the country, whether they are reputable or not. That's why there is that aforementioned 1-800-000-0000 number. Just check out their sales pitch:
- Higher percentage of converted calls to Leads
- Higher percentage of qualified callers
- Lower cost per in bound unique lead
- Instant inbound Activity for your sales staff
- Trackable phone number provided & routed to your location
- Inbound call analysis completed & e-mailed to you daily
- Score calls and evaluate sales staff
It's pretty clear where their interests lie, isn't it? If I wanted to buy this commercial and brand it for my company I could. Why should I be worried about these companies just trying to help consumers? Well they aren't always out to help consumers as you can read on Wikipedia. I don't really know how to pick a good debt settlement company, but I did find this article which seems like it could have some helpful information. I think the safest way to get out of debt is to go on an extreme savings plan. Cut out or greatly reduce the costs of everything in your life. If you go with that route, I have some tips on how to save money.
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