Tim Pawlenty, president and CEO of the Financial Services Roundtable, has pulled an ad campaign after it was criticized by some roundtable members.
The campaign was aimed at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s consumer complaint portal, which FSR accused of spreading misinformation about the financial services industry.
Certain members of the group, among them JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America and Citigroup, said they had not been consulted about the attempt prior to its launch in August. They objected both to the campaign itself and the fact that Pawlenty had not gotten their approval for the campaign beforehand.
Some members reached out to the CFPB to apologize for the campaign and distance themselves from it.
“Some members had anxiety” about the campaign, and the group has no plans for a similar public process in the future, Pawlenty said.
As part of the campaign, the lobbying group launched a website and bought ads on social media and billboards.
FSR’s efforts were largely targeted at the ways in which complaint information is publicized by the bureau. The FSR website challenged the publication of “unverified complaints” in a database which it said gives short shrift to companies named in a complaint.
The move followed a recent proposal from the bureau which would expand the data collected to include a larger “consumer narrative” element of filed complaints.
Currently, published complaints include the name of the company, a general description of the complaint and the consumer’s ZIP code. Consumers are limited to 3,900 characters to describe the complaint when they file it, but the proposed change does not specify a new character limit, leading many to assume it will be open-ended.
The bureau defended the inclusion of the expanded consumer narrative, saying it would enhance the database by providing context for complaints and spotlighting specific trends.