Free exposure for credit counseling service
Ad 2 Honolulu kicks off its 2008 pro bono ad campaign for Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Hawaii
this week with print and radio ads.
"People don't know enough about our client," said Amanda Donlin, Ad 2 Public Service co-chairwoman, in September when CCCS of Hawaii was named the winner.
If Ad 2 has done its job, that is about to change -- and none too soon.
When CCCS applied with Ad 2, subprime issues were just emerging, said Wendy Burkholder, executive director. CCCS simply wanted to raise awareness of its services, having been "eclipsed" by shady mainland services offering quick-fixes for debt problems "and the majority of them, unfortunately, are scams. There is no quick fix to financial problems that develop over years."
With the shutdowns of Molokai Ranch and Aloha Airlines and the state of the economy, "people are certainly hurting more."
"This is such a gift for us, to be able to have this happen now, when it's never been more needed," Burkholder said.
Debt can influence homelessness, marital status, substance abuse and depression. "When people are not managing well financially, it ... bleeds over into every aspect of their lives. The Ad 2 team got that immediately and so it's sort of validating for us that they've built the campaign around understanding that," Burkholder said.
A statewide audience will see the TV spots, starting within two weeks.
"Life with Debt," depicts a man during some of life's milestones, each of which sank him deeper into debt. "Needs," to debut later this month, shows a woman's daily struggle with debt. Both encourage people to get help from CCCS, which has offices on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island.
Ad 2 Honolulu's campaigns have regularly won national competitions and have been valued at more than $1 million. Much of the value is derived from the publications, radio and television stations that help get the message out.
"Hawaii rocks" in that regard, said Donlin. "We are so lucky."
Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Hawaii's name is similar to the name of another organization that lost its nonprofit status last year. However, that group, Hawaii Credit Counseling Service, has nothing to do with Ad 2 or its client.
CCCS is approved by the U.S. Department of Justice to provide pre-bankruptcy counseling, and is a member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. It also is accredited by the Council on Accreditation for Children and Family Services.
Burkholder hopes creditors will boost funding so CCCS can hire more counselors for the client onslaught it anticipates.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org