The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has spent $15 million in online advertising so far in this fiscal year, as it seeks to educate the public about consumer protection from unscrupulous or illegal financial products and services.
The CFPB’s ad campaign ranks third among all government agencies, trailing only the Defense and Transportaion departments, according to a published report that referenced data from USASpending.gov. The amount spent by the CFPB on advertising this fiscal year is twice as much as it spent last year, according to the tracking website. The CFPB has allocated 2.5% of its overall budget to online advertising.
“The CFPB is a new agency with a mission and mandate that requires direct engagement with American consumers,” spokeswoman Moira Vahey said in a published report. “We are using all available channels to engage the people we serve.”
The ads include one that directs students and parents to a comparison tool on the CFPB’s website to help compare different financial aid packages and products. Another ad targets individuals buying homes, and directs those people to information aimed to help them understand the mortgage process.
Only three agencies have spent as much of their budgets on ads as the CFPB during the past three years, according to a review conducted by the Wall Street Journal. Those agencies are the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Peace Corps. Most other agencies spend less than 1% of their budgets on advertising.
The CFPB is using the same advertising agency that is used by the presidential campaigns of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.