Six Figure Ad Buy Launched Opposing Right-Wing Effort to Repeal Prepaid Card Protections

Ad Will Air in Alaska, Maine, Nevada, and D.C. — Encourages Senators to Stand Up for Constituents, Not Predatory Prepaid Debit Card Companies

[Alaska Version | Maine Version | Nevada Version | D.C. Version]

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Allied Progress announced a six-figure television ad buy aimed at blocking an effort by Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) to repeal the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) “Prepaid Rule.” The rule protects prepaid debit cardholders from predatory fees and penalties by providing them with some of the same basic protections enjoyed by traditional debit and credit cardholders.

The television ads, entitled “House of Cards,” will run in Alaska, Maine, Nevada, and D.C., and will call on Senators Lisa Murkowski, Susan Collins, and Dean Heller to oppose Perdue’s legislation. The ads will be paired with a digital buy encouraging online viewers to visit PrepaidSenate.org to take action. A new report released last week found that an estimated 23 million Americans and 1 in 10 households use prepaid cards.

Last week, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that Sen. Perdue is using an obscure parliamentary procedure to roll back new rules on prepaid debit cards, a move that will harm millions of hard-working Americans while benefiting one of his major donors to the tune of $80 million. Senators may have an opportunity to vote on Perdue’s legislation as early as this week.

Sen. Perdue’s legislation is about one thing–letting a campaign megadonor continue to swindle its customers with shady fees and deceptive practices. This is swamp politics at its worst,” said Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress.

He continued, “Senators have a simple choice: they can protect the ability for predatory debit card companies to rip-off consumers or they can protect the pocketbooks of their constituents.”

The CFPB’s common-sense rule that Perdue is pushing to repeal is supported by industry trade groups like The Center for Financial Services Innovation and Green Dot, the largest provider of prepaid debit cards in the United States.

Netspend’s PAC and executives have given Sen. Perdue more than $33,000 in campaign contributions since 2014. The company has a troubling record of predatory practices. Just one day after Perdue filed his legislation to benefit Netspend, the company agreed to refund consumers $53 million to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that it had “deceived consumers . . . about access to funds deposited on defendants’ debit cards.

Last week, Allied Progress filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to obtain correspondence that could further expose efforts by Netspend, Perdue, and their Senate allies who are seeking to roll back the CFPB’s prepaid rule. Additional actions against Perdue’s legislation will be announced in the coming days.

To speak with Karl Frisch about the ad campaign or the “Prepaid Rule,” please contact Mike Czin at 202-286-7654 or mczin@skdknick.com.

Script for “House of Cards” – 30 Seconds

“Millions of Americans receive everything from hourly wages to Social Security payments on prepaid debit cards. Card companies nickel and dime them with hidden fees. And prepaid cards lack federal protections from fraud and mistakes. But new regulations could finally end “prepaid card gotchas” unless the card companies get their way in Congress. Call Senator Murkowski/Collins/Heller and tell him/her to keep pre-paid debit card protections in place to safeguard Americans from being played.”

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Allied Progress is a nationwide, progressive advocacy organization that uses hard-hitting research and creative campaigns to hold Wall Street and powerful special interests accountable. Since launching in 2015, the organization has led high-profile campaigns on several issues including reforming the payday lending industry and exposing the those working to cripple the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

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