Elderly force a shift on US bonds

The government, under pressure from senior-citizen activists, has quit promoting US Savings Bonds as an investment "to make your dreams come true" or a patriotic way to help the nation beat the energy crunch.

The Gray Panthers, a coalition of elderly Americans, filed a pair of complaints with the Federal Trade Commission last year, alleging the Treasury Department was running deceptive ads about bonds.

The group argued the ads failed to disclose the negative effect inflation has on the savings bond investment. The Panthers also said plans by the Treasury to change the name of savings bonds to "Energy Bonds" or "US Energy Savings Bonds" were misleading.

Albert Kramer, director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection, says the new ads for 1980 will advocate the purchase of bonds as "one of the best methods of forced savings" and "a sure way to save the dough that runs through your fingers."

The FTC also says the Treasury has abandoned plans to rename the savings bond or promote it as a way to help the nation conquer its energy problems. But Mr. Kramer says the Panthers might still see some of the old ads, because it will take time to switch over to the new campaign.

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