AARP Takes on Bush in Print Salvo

WASHINGTON, D.C. The AARP will launch a $5 million, two-week print campaign on Jan. 4 to oppose President George W. Bush’s proposal to establish private Social Security accounts, according to the lobbying group for Americans 50 and older.

The work, which will appear in more than 50 newspapers including The New York Times and USA Today, was created by the AARP’s current lead agency, GSD&M, an Omnicom Group shop in Austin, Texas. Ads proclaim that the Bush plan would, in fact, cause “Social Insecurity.”

In one ad, copy reads, “There are places in your retirement planning for risk but Social Security isn’t one of them.” A second ad features a middle-aged couple, who say in the copy, “If we feel like gambling, we’ll play the slots.”

In a letter sent to members this month, the AARP said, “Taking some of the money that workers pay into the system and diverting it into newly created private accounts would weaken Social Security and put benefits for future generations at risk.”

The print salvo is timed to coincide with the start of the new Congress. The ads will run through Jan. 16; Bush’s second-term inauguration is set for Jan. 20.