Fine print, Research, regulation, industry reports

Credit card issuers cut TV advertising

Julie Sherrier

Gas for the car? $0. Food for the fridge? $0. Money for the mortgage
payment? $0. Fewer credit card commercials? Priceless.

It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that the current credit
crunch will be limiting our exposure to oft-repeated, memorable and often
spoofed credit card commercials. According to Advertising Age and Nielsen (the world’s leading provider of marketing information), credit
card advertising slipped a whopping 24 percent in September.

“The number of ad units touting credit card services
fell to 13,704 from Sept. 1-21, 2008, compared with 18,057 from Sept. 3-23,
2007,” reports Advertising Age. “In July and August, those same
marketers increased TV ad spending by nearly 27 percent to nearly $218.5
million from approximately $172.7 million,” says Annie Touliatos, vice
president of sales development for Nielsen Co. No matter how far we stick our
heads in the sand, the dire global economic situation changed dramatically from
the summer and doesn’t appear it will be righting itself anytime soon. The credit
and lending industries are the lead dogs in the credit-crunch pack.

To further illustrate, revolving credit card debt increased
$52 billion from August 2007 to August 2008, according to the Federal Reserve.
National credit card debt per credit card borrower, according to TransUnion, increased 2.63 percent to
$1,717 — up from $1,673 in Q1 and up by 8.6 percent from 2007’s second quarter
level of $1,581. (Q3 results have not been released yet.) Add in the mix that
unemployment rate is 6.1 percent –up sharply from 4.7 percent a year ago — and
projected to hit 7 or 7.5 percent by late next year — paying those credit card bills
will become increasingly difficult. It’s no wonder those ad dollars are being

Credit card issuers aren’t the only ones cutting their
advertising campaigns — ads for mortgages fell 49.84 percent and mutual fund
ads fell 29.02 percent in September, Nielsen said. I guess that means more air
time for our presidential candidates — at least for the next few weeks.

See related: What happens to credit card debt
when a bank fails
, Credit card debt up, delinquencies down in Q2, report says, Fed
report on consumer credit shows pace of card use falls


Join the Discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, we ask that you do not disclose confidential or personal information such as your bank account numbers, social security numbers, etc. Keep in mind that anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The editorial content on is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company's business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.