AMEX TAKES ANOTHER SWIPE AT VISA IN NEW COMMERCIALS: LAMPOONED RIVAL COMPLAINS LATEST TV SPOTS ARE 'MISLEADING'

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American Express Co. last week opened round two of its TV battle with Visa USA when it broke two new commercials that ridicule its rival.

AmEx aired a similar spot in January that was later changed, and Visa again is charging the new spots are "inaccurate and misleading." A Visa spokesman said specifics of those charges will be addressed "at a later date."

PREVIOUS COMPLAINT

It was a month after the initial ad broke that Visa complained to the TV networks, which asked AmEx to make minor changes.

AmEx appears committed to the Visa-bashing tactic as it increasingly relies on advertising to compete in the dog-eat-dog credit card market.

The two new commercials from Ogilvy & Mather, New York, star the same hapless Visa customer who was on a disastrous trip to Paris in the first spot.

In the new 60-second spot, the customer loses his camera, loses his credit card and crashes a rental car on the way to see Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme perform in Las Vegas. Visa can't help him in any of those situations. In a :30, the man is rudely torn from some virtual reality goggles-and the arm of a beautiful but illusory woman-by a store clerk who tells him he's over his credit limit.

DISCLAIMER APPEARS

AmEx got into trouble with its original attack ad because it didn't make clear that it was comparing its Green Card to the standard Visa card. Such a disclaimer was later added and it appears in the new spots.

AmEx claims it has covered itself in the new ads.

The Visa spokesman said the :60 is misleading because it suggests that only a

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