I don’t watch much TV…but when I do it’s usually something DVR’d and I fast forward through all the commercials. I’ve been following the local news as of late though since the tragedy of a fishing boat capsizing in a small town here in Nova Scotia. The RCMP along with private and military help are looking for five of their own (very young, most, less than 20-years-old) fisherman. It’s a grim, sad story.
What does all this have to do with Personal Finance? TV. Yeah for not cancelling cable!! I was watching live TV the other night and a very smart commercial came on the ‘ol tube which you can watch here:
There are a few variations of these commercials currently on Canadian TV, this just being one of many about credit cards. The commercials are put out by the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC).
What is The FCAC?
From their website they identify themselves via:
- ensuring that the market conduct of federally regulated financial entities complies with federal legislation and regulations
- promoting the adoption of policies and procedures designed to implement legislation, regulation, voluntary codes of conduct and public commitments by federally regulated financial entities
- monitoring federally regulated financial entities’ compliance with voluntary codes of conduct and their own public commitments
- informing consumers about their rights and responsibilities when dealing with financial entities and about the obligations of payment card network operators to consumers and merchants
- providing timely and objective information and tools to help consumers understand, and shop for, a variety of financial products and services
- monitoring and evaluating trends and emerging issues that may have an impact on consumers of financial products and services.
The last three points hold the most interest to me.
I’m sure the FCAC has been around for a long time, well beyond my years but I have to be honest, this is the first time I have ever heard of them. Sure I knew something like this had to exist but didn’t know it could have any benefit for me as a Canadian, and a consumer.
I have to commend the Canadian government for doing such a good job at informing the population in their 30 second time slot. The above commercial did enough to grab my attention in a few short words and got the point across perfectly clearly: I see boots. I want boots. I have no money. I charge boots on credit card. I only make minimum payments on credit cards. I end up paying more than double for said boots. Boo.
Too Late For Me
I cannot begin to tell you how much I wish commercials like this were around when I was signing on the dotted line for my first credit card. I already spoke about my lack of financial education and how I feel I was cheated a little by not receiving any, resulting in many expensive mistakes. Though these commercials are too late for me, I hope they continue airing and reach the millions of young adults in Canada who are embarking on their own financially independent path. I hope equally that educators across this great country capitalize on the fantastic resources that the FCAC has put forth for them. Educate your students (they may have frugal parents who have canceled cable and won’t see these ads!)
Way to go Canada for doing your part for helping this sad epidemic. Please let this growing debt problem stop.
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