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AARP Launches Initiative to End Abuse By Financial Industry

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 19, 2010
Contact: AARP Media Relations, media@aarp.org, 202-434-2560


AARP Launches Initiative to End Abuse By Financial Industry
Targeted Ad Campaign Encourages Senators to Put Consumers Ahead of Financial Institutions

WASHINGTON – AARP today launched a multi-faceted initiative to pass financial reforms necessary to safeguard the pocketbooks of Americans. The initiative includes targeted local TV, radio and print ads in states; grassroots engagement; national and local research; and social media outreach.

“We know now that older Americans lost billions of hard earned dollars due to the failure of an outdated and compromised financial regulatory system,” said Nancy LeaMond, Executive Vice President at AARP. “We strongly believe that any bill the Senate passes should protect the rights of consumers first and foremost.”

AARP is calling on the Senate to put consumers first, not the financial institutions that caused the economic crisis that hurt millions of older Americans. The ad campaign highlights the consequences of the financial industry’s reckless behavior, using a jingle with lyrics including:

“Oh big banks how you’ve used us
Mistreated and abused us
Mortgage lenders too
We gave you our trust
Then you almost went bust
Turned our taxes into bonuses too
Now you want to forget
We paid off your debt
You act like you’re free of blame
But your profits they grew
While you broke every rule
We’re tired of playing your game
Stop the fat cats from putting your money at risk – tell your senators to pass financial reform now.”

Recent AARP polling has shown that Democrats, Republicans and Independents age 50-plus overwhelmingly say they want reform. More than 9 in 10 people believe financial institutions should use plain language to describe their products, be transparent about fees on accounts, disclose the costs and benefits of all products they market and that consumers should be able to know more about the financial professionals they are consulting for advice.

“AARP is calling on Senators to pass a strong bill that includes, among other protections, a strong and independent consumer watchdog, rules that forbid the financial industry from selling products they know their customers can’t afford or don’t understand, and greater transparency in an industry that has historically operated behind closed doors,” said LeaMond.

To view the ad and learn more about the initiative visit:
action.aarp.org/yourmoney or watch the ad on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UpX7cui-Fl4.

For more information about AARP’s financial reform surveys visit:
http://www.aarp.org/research/surveys/money/consumers/fraud/articles/finprotect_10.html.

For more activity on financial reform, check out AARP on Twitter: @AARP and Facebook: facebook.com/aarp



About AARP
AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.7 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP.org. AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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If you are an AARP member and not with the press, call 1-888-OUR-AARP or email member@aarp.org.

 

For media inquiries, please contact the AARP Media Relations Office at (202) 434-2560 or media@aarp.org.

 

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Twitter: @aarpmedia

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