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ACE Wants a Good Name Amid Industry's Bad Rep

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The nation's largest check-cashing chain will soon launch its first major advertising campaign featuring a new, short-term loan product.
Working with Gleason/Calise Associates of Dallas, Irving, Texas-based ACE Cash Express will make its first attempt at creating a brand image on a national level.
Said ACE vice president and chief marketing officer Frank Dudowicz, "How can I say this?
The industry does not a have a good reputation. Now that we've expanded we're going to take the high ground in the way we position our product and our brand. That's our core positioning."
Dudowicz was hired eight months ago to evaluate ACE's current brand positioning and "take it to the next level," he said.
ACE currently has a network of 1,041 stores in 32 states, about 15 percent of which are owned by franchisees. The company offers wire transfers, money orders, bill payment and other financial services. Its primary source of revenue is check cashing.
The business has grown at more than 20 percent annually for the last several years.
The advertising campaign focuses on a new product, Advance Cash Express, a two-week loan which offers up to $500 with no credit check at 15 percent interest. Two, 30-second television commercials from Gleason/Calise will be tested in San Antonio before rolling out to other markets.
The budget for the television campaign was not disclosed.
The agency was selected following a review which included a number of undisclosed Dallas-area shops, Dudowicz said.
"The Advance Cash Express account is a terrific opportunity for our agency to collaborate with a talented group of in-house marketers," said Charlie Calise, chief executive officer of Gleason/Calise. "The account leverages our experience with multi-unit retail concepts.