SACRAMENTO, Calif.-The Golden 1 Credit Union is poking fun at two of its big bank competitors while urging their consumers to "Come on over."

The CU's first two billboard messages are aimed at Chase and Bank of America, asking, "Chased by high bank fees?" and "Bank in debt to America?" Other billboards in the series have noted, "No private jets. No bailouts" and "No billion-dollar bailouts here."

The next billboard set to debut here in California's capital takes dead aim at the oft-repeated rationale that a bank is "too big to fail" and therefore requires an infusion of taxpayer money. The not-so-gentle rebuke: "Is your bank too big to care," followed by the entreaty, "Come on over."

Teresa Halleck, president and CEO of the $7.1-billion credit union, told Credit Union Journal the campaign was designed to tap into consumer frustration with federal bailouts of mega-banks, and recent reports of some banks significantly increasing interest rates on some consumer credit cards despite timely payments on their accounts.

"We thought it would be a good time to remind consumers in our market that they have credit unions as an alternative choice for banking," she explained. "We took this market opportunity to remind these potential members that credit unions such as Golden 1 have remained responsible during these difficult times, with a 'Come on over' call to action for those that may have considered Golden 1 for their banking needs, but not yet sought to move their relationship."

With the frequent negative press regarding huge bank bonus payouts, TARP funds, and other questionable actions, Halleck continued, "it seemed like good timing to put forth this edgy and bold message and advertising approach to remind consumers in our markets that they should consider banking alternatives instead of continuing to support these mega-banks with their business and account relationships."

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