Now Playing on Vegas TV, “Bad Animals” Annuity Videos; Consumer Warnings Against Annuities Jump from Print to Digital

Nevada insurance regulators are portraying some sellers of annuities as people who are really “bad animals.”

National Underwriter Online Edition- June 19, 2007

Well, if annuity providers won’t use videos to compliantly communicate the value of their products then I guess regulators will use videos to stop their annuity sales.

Here’s the latest “development” in regulators’ continuing creative efforts to save consumers from, “… buying a faulty annuity for the wrong reasons.” According to the website Broadcast Newsroom: This new campaign titled “Bad Animals” simulates conversations between annuity “sales people” who are really “animals” underneath the surface.” OK, I’m sick.

National Underwriter reports that the Nevada Division of Insurance developed the “Bad Animals” advertising campaign to encourage consumers to check the licenses of annuity suppliers, officials say. The campaign includes 4 television commercials airing in Las Vegas and the Reno, Nev., area and 2 billboards, officials say.

Each ad represents a ‘simulated sales’ vignette shown from the perspective of the purchaser as they are coerced into buying a faulty annuity for all the wrong reasons,” officials say. “The ads creatively show a ‘sales person’ communicating with a potential annuity customer, then flashes to a photo of a predator that most creatively represents each salesperson, demonstrating how the customer is deceived through witty and coercive tactics.” The slogan of each ad is, “Check with us before you write a check,” officials say.

In the 1976 movie, Cool Hand Luke, actor Strother Martin famously said, “What we have here is failure to communicate.” In the annuity industry what we have today is failure to communicate compliantly. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Message consistency, fair and balanced product explanations, quality education of producers and consumer empowerment are anything but vague and unattainable objectives. The required tools and technologies to achieve these improvements are fully developed. What’s lacking is courage.
How many hostile consumer “warnings” can the industry absorb before it is irreparably harmed?

©Copyright 2007 David A. Macchia. All rights reserved.