Saturday, September 02, 2006

Life Takes Visa

Speaking with Amanda Gleason of finance blog youngandbroke got the wheels turning about credit card marketing the other day.

Life takes Visa is very appropriate.

98% of Californians are one paycheck away from not making their next mortgage payment.

Diners Club and American Express were the first credit card companies. Both initiated retail credit card operations in 1958. American Express later repositioned their product as "the green card" because (like an immigrant) it gave consumers permission, for the first time, to live beyond their means.

"Membership may have its rewards," (American Express) but who wants to be a member of this club? The rise in credit card usage coincided with America's abandonment of "the gold standard." Prior to 1958, Congress was not allowed to spend more money on domestic and foreign operations than we actually had on hand - stockpiled as gold bullion in the vaults at Fort Knox, KY.

Now that the government can spend itself into debt, so can the rest of us. So much for financial accountability, responsibility and integrity. Almost everyone spends more than their flow, Maybe Visa's copywriters tried out other tag lines such as, "Life Requires Visa."

Financial stress is the #1 reason most people get divorced today. We no longer live on the "gold standard" (what a great ironic metaphor). This is a debtor society.

Thanks for your rich, robust and proprietary insight Visa! The US divorce rate was significantly lower prior to 1958.

Famed ad agency McCann-Ericson's motto is, "The truth well told."

Does McCann-Erickson handle the Visa account? Who knows, but check out their web site. (mental jellyfish!?)

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