American Express Co. Tuesday launched an advertising campaign that focuses on why charge cards are better than other payment products. The campaign's theme "Don't Take Chances, Take Charge" encourages consumers to think carefully about how they pay for purchases. The ads tout the benefits of paying off an AmEx charge card every month, a move apparently designed to attract consumers who have moved to pay-as-you-go debit cards from revolving-credit products to reduce debt. The ads show everyday objects, such as a wallet, washing machine, a jacket and a handbag with either happy or sad faces. The objects depict a happy face when consumers use the AmEx charge card. The campaign features print advertisements in national newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and USA Today, and in such regional newspapers as the Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune. On Sept. 5, such broadcast stations as CBS, FOX, NBC and TNT will air television spots. In addition, the digital component of the campaign will include interactive social media, including a dedicated "Take Charge" Web site. AmEx did not comment by CardLine's deadline.

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