The American Express Co. has apparently decided to fight back.
In a fight-advertising-with-advertising spirit, American Express said yesterday it is considering newspaper advertisements of its own to attack claims by First National City travelers checks that American Express is using deceptive television ads to sell the brand of travelers cheques.
The ads by First National City began on Aug. 16 and claim that through dramatizations American Express' commercials imply that only their travelers chekcs can be refunded if lost or stolen.
The first ad asked, "Is American Express running deceptive television commercials for its travelers checks?" On Tuesday, the answer appeared in another ad: "Yes, those TV commercials for American Express travelers checks are false and misleading."
Yesterday the ad headline said, "More about those scary and deceptive commercials for American Express travelers checks."
"They're getting more hysterical," American Express spokesman Jess O. Gregory said of the First National City ads. "We're not going to get in a shouting match with them over an issue they're purposely creating."
"We're considering running newspaper advertising that explains our product and its attributes in plain language in an effort to keep anyone who is interested, informed as to the true facts about our services," Gregory said.
A First National City spokesman could not be reached for comment late yesterday.