By Ronnie Herne
I just received a “New Message” from USAA. It is posted in its entirety below, and includes a phone number for the CEO (unnamed but probably Stuart Parker, not to be confused with General Lester Lyles who is Chairman of the Board). The big caveat for those who are thinking Forgive and Forget is the part that reads.”…while we review our policy to determine how best to apply it…”
That means that when the ground swell abates, USAA can just pull this all over again. And please note that the very unintended consequences of USAA having to pull its ads from Left Opinion programming also were addressed by reinstating all advertising.
Question One: Why is USAA advertising at all? What a waste of members’ money! Their audience clientele is limited to the military, their families, and our vets. And while they may pick up a stray vet or two, how is that offset by the cost of advertising (which by the way they’ve only been doing for a few years).
During the fracas over yanking Sean Hannity’s advertising you’d think that USAA just might have gotten the message. There is no one more friendly to active duty military, their families, and our vets than Sean Hannity. Does USAA give him an award? No.
They cave to Soros and pull his advertising! And they have the truly stupid cheek to do it at the Memorial Day remembrance. How’d that work out?
Hundreds if not thousands have pulled out of USAA. Their Community Member board filled up with 275 pages of comments, most of them favoring Sean Hannity. They received over 1600 calls! I know personally that for periods of time on Friday and Saturday you could not get signed in at USAA and/or leave messages. “Try again later.” “…experiencing technical difficulties…”
In the memo below USAA talks about “free speech” and “a variety of perspectives”. So now an insurance/financial company is going to ,what? OK a Jihadi perspective? OK a Kathy Griffin perspective? OK a Catholic perspective? Just what are they mumbling about?
And while we’re chatting… How is it that USAA continued NFL advertising after the likes of Colin Kaepernick (and copy cats) denigrated and scoffed at the glorious flag of our United States of America? No problem there! USAA was good with that. Was that “in line with our mission” mentioned below?
USAA has come real close to launching itself into oblivion. Some heads should roll. Maybe the Board needs a shake up. And maybe, just maybe, USAA could leave advertising to Wheaties and Ivory and John Deere. And redistribute the ad savings to their members. What an idea, huh?
Dear Ms. Herne,
Thank you for your feedback. Last week, USAA became aware that we had advertised on some opinion-based news programs, which is inconsistent with the advertising policy we’ve had in place since 2011. As a result, we removed advertising on those programs.
The decision to remove our ads had nothing to do with any specific topic on these programs. USAA recognizes the value of these programs and believes in free speech. Our policy sought to avoid any suggestion of bias or support for one set of views over another. The lines between news and editorial are increasingly blurred. As such, we are reinstating all previously removed ads on programs representing a variety of perspectives, while we review our policy to determine how best to apply it in today s environment and in line with our mission.
USAA means United Services Automobile Association and its affiliates.