Company Behind McDonald’s Golden Arches Aims to Improve Reverse Image

NewImage.jpgThe company behind the infamous McDonald’s golden arches has been hired to help the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association raise the public image of its members’ loan product.

Financial Planning is reporting that the product has been the subject of what the reverse mortgage lenders say is misleading press coverage.

During the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association road show in Philadelphia, Peter Bell, President of the associaiton told attendeeds that Golin Harris along with another yet to be publicly named PR firm would be leading the campaign.

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Bell said a big factor in the origination decline is that the “local media has not portrayed reverse mortgages as an effective tool.”  The result, he said, is a “march to legislate” in a number of states, including Maryland (which passed a new law last month), Florida, Arizona, California and Minnesota.

“A lot of that has been driven by adverse coverage that in some cases regurgitates information that is 15 years old,” Bell told the conference.

Bell did not say how much the lender trade group planned to spend on the campaign, but he said some members have made cash contributions to fund the effort and others have agreed to chip in $15 per loan as their share.

Besides taking the industry’s message to the press, the two public relations firms will help the trade group deal with state and federal legislators.

Reverse Mortgage Sector Looks to Burnish Its Image

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  • The launching of this new campaign could be as instrumental to the future of the image of our industry as the introduction of the Jerry Orbach (followed immediately by Robert Wagner) commercials and video tapes were to the growth of the industry some years ago. This is an very important step forward. It sounds like the right players are being hired.

  • This is a great step that is long overdue. However, at this point, since it seems that congress and HUD are trying to kill the program, it may be too late to matter.

    • pass2you,

      I absolutely detest sounding like Pollyanna but as long as the program survives, there is still time. Just look at the fast food industry. Along came the E. coli scandal and the end of fast food hamburgers seemed imminent. Last I checked sales in the fast food industry and hamburgers in particular not only survived but are now even thriving.

      Yeah the publicity has not been great for HECMs but neither has it been nearly as bad as some “cynics” make it out to be. Don’t get beat up by the press. If you believe in the product, you will change incorrect and false perceptions about the product among the people you meet. (How I hate writing in this vein. It goes against the grain and is like fingernails scratching on a blackboard. – Ugh!!)

      It would be interesting to see a statistical analysis of how much of the reduced volume is due to the negative press in the last year and how much of it is due to the reduction in the principal limit factors. (Just guessing but) the greatest impact was and remains the reduction to the PLFs. Bad press can be overcome but it is hard to undo the negatives of the PLF reductions. Thank goodness we have been able to cut some costs; otherwise things could be worse.

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