Coinciding with Republicans and business groups hollering for the head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to be a five-person commission instead of a single director, make the agency’s funding in some way subject to congressional oversight, with lawsuits challenging its very authority, the CFPB is pitching a substantial advertising campaign to promote its mission to the public.
So far in fiscal 2016 it has spent spent $15.3 million on internet advertising, nearly twice as much as it did in advertising for all of 2015. The ads are designed to help consumers do comparative shopping for financial products like mortgages, student loans and retirement plans.
The five-year-old agency spends a greater percentage of its budget on advertising than almost any other government agency. It has devoted 2.5% of its budget this year to ads, the second-highest level among all federal departments and comparable regulatory agencies for 2016 to date, according to what The Wall Street Journal tells MHProNews based on its review.
During the past three years, only the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Food and Drug Administration and the Peace Corps have spent more than two percent of their budget on advertising. Most departments and agencies spend well-below one percent.
Although the advertising firm that got the contract, GMMB, Inc., had to win it through competitive bidding, it is the same firm used by the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
“The CFPB is a new agency with a mission and mandate that requires direct engagement with American consumers,” spokeswoman Moira Vahey said in an email. “We are using all available channels to engage the people we serve.”
Currently, the CFPB director can only be removed by the president for cause. ##
(Photo credit: Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s headquarters)
Article submitted by Matthew J Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.