"Lenders You Can Trust.  Only At Borrow Smart Stores!"


Incredibly Successful!

October 22, 2007

By now most of you know we launched our Borrow Smart campaign on Thursday of last week.  The launch was an overwhelming success.  This is our report.  Be sure you read the entire report and click on the links that are highlighted for a full picture of the Borrow Smart Alabama campaign.  Also, please be sure to redirect this information to your stores so they will be fully aware of our program.  As the campaign progresses we fully expect the press to begin making inquires and contacting local stores (more on that at another time).


We held our first press conference of the day on Thursday morning at The Money Store in Montgomery.  It was well attended by local TV, the local press and the Associated Press.  Charles Hunter, our CFL spokesperson, announced our Borrow Smart plans and played several customer testimonials for the press.  The press was quite responsive to our announcement and asked good solid questions.  The questions and the mood was quite positive.  The press seemed to be genuinely impressed by what we were doing.  We then moved on to the Title Cash store in Birmingham for our second conference of the day.   That conference was not quite as well attended as the event in Montgomery, but we did get local TV coverage and Charles was interviewed by phone by the Birmingham News.  Again, we were well received.

Our statewide TV and radio campaigns also began the same day.  To see our TV ad click here, to hear our radio ad, click here  and to see our customer video testimonials click here.  These tell a very compelling story.  This campaign will run for about a month in markets throughout the state. 


The press coverage results were incredible.  We had a great article in the Montgomery Advertiser, one of the largest papers in the state and the our capital's newspaper.  The coverage on the internet was just phenomenal.  Go to Google and type in Borrow Smart Alabama to see the coverage or click here (we’ve done it for you).  The press coverage was on the internet wire within an hour of our first announcement!  The local stories were in the papers at the next edition of the papers after our press meetings. 

With regard to the Birmingham News story, we were somewhat disappointed.  We contacted the News immediately and challenged the story.  They reprinted our challenge almost immediately and they have invited us to meet with their full editorial board to go over our story in much greater detail. 


If you are a CFL member your store kits should be completed by the middle of this week.  Click here to see the full kit.  We will contact you when they are ready to go.  The kits are comprehensive and will include inside posters, brochures, window stickers and desktop displays.  Your store will be well identified as a Borrow Smart Alabama member.  It will be hard to miss you.  Especially, since you can easily be found (click here and try for yourself).

If you are not a member now is the time for you to reconsider joining with us. Our campaign has just begun.  It is our intention to promote Borrow Smart stores with the press and with prospective customers in our local, grass roots campaign.  We will do this in all of our ads, in all of our press articles, in all of our direct contacts with the legislators and regulators and on our web site (  All of the audiences will know who you are and will know if you participate with us in our Alabama, pro-consumer Borrow Smart Code of Fair Lending.  We think it will help you and your store in many ways if you support this statewide effort.  You can visit our website, view our ads and read our press releases by clicking on all the links in this report and then you be the judge.

If you want the benefits of being a CFL member and our Alabama, grass roots imitative, click here for more information about joining with us to improve the image of our industry and that of your business.  As a member, you get all of this for less than the cost of a yellow page ad!


This announcement and launch exceeded our expectations in almost every way  -- from our very first announcement with the Alabama Black Caucus in Point Clear a week or so ago to our meetings with the Alabama press last week.  But, this entire effort is a work in progress – not a one shot event.  This is the beginning.  Rome was surely not built in a day and our industry and our members did not acquire the image we have in a day, either.  Further, it will not be changed in a day no matter how much effort we put behind it.  It will take time.  But, we are committed.  From this point on when there is a conversation in the public arena about us, we will be there too.  And so will you if you are a Borrow Smart member.  We are now at the table and we will be there to present our side of the story about our customers, about our industry and especially about our members.

Please look around at other states and jurisdictions (Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, Virginia, Washington DC, Oregon and more) they all have seen very bad things happen to their businesses as a result of not presenting their side of the story.  They were constantly bashed and beaten up in the public arena with virtually no public response for their side of the story.  They all thought having representation in the legislature would keep them safe and that’s all it would take.  Well, they were wrong!  Where are they are today?

The days when we could rely solely and exclusively on our lobbying effort are gone!  We are in an instant communication media world and our adversaries have mastered the use of it to their benefit.  If our industry wishes to be around we had better learn to do the same.

From our recent meetings with the Alabama Black Caucus we know there are so many misconceptions about us and about our customers and that with a little public communication work, combined with our critically important lobbying effort, we can start to change that image.  We saw that first hand at our meeting in Point Clear with the Alabama Black Caucus.  Changes will not happen overnight, but over time we can make a major impact.  The flip side is that if we don’t make the effort we know the end result.  We can no longer depend only on our effort in Montgomery.  We must work on this problem on all fronts or we are gone.

Thanks to everyone who has supported us in this effort -- especially our members.  There are so many to thank.  This was truly a team effort and everyone played a part.  In particular, the folks at Big (John and Robin), Michael Sullivan of the Lobbyist Group, Charles Hunter and Heather Sellers of The Money Store and Roy Hutcheson at Title Cash and our entire CFL Board of Directors.  They all played key roles in making this a great success.

Now the real work begins.  But, we are sure off to a great start.