Washington, DC – Cause of Action Institute (CoA Institute) sent a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for information surrounding a recent contract worth an estimated $14 million with GMMB, Inc., a powerful media consulting shop. GMMB, Inc. has produced partisan political ads for numerous high-profile campaigns, including for President Obama and Hillary Clinton.
“CFPB is a federal agency engaged, as part of its consumer protection responsibilities, in substantial consumer information collection activities,” wrote Alfred J. Lechner, Jr. Cause of Action Institute President and CEO and a former federal judge. “Given GMMB’s partisan political clients, CoA Institute is concerned about the nature of and safeguards applied to any CFPB information supplied to or received from GMMB.”
Recent empirical data show political favoritism in federal contract awards. Given GMMB, Inc.’s statement that the CFPB contract covers costs for “independent research on messaging and demographic targeting,” Cause of Action Institute seeks to confirm that appropriate firewalls are in place to ensure that American taxpayers are not subsidizing political coordination.
“Firms contracted by campaigns should not and cannot be using information garnered by federal agencies to support political causes,” the letter states.
CoA Institute requests information about the contract, all communications between CFPB and GMMB, Inc., as well as any consumer data CFPB may have shared, including consumer lists, individual addresses, and targeted advertising.
Group Asks CFPB for Details of Ad Campaign
Nearly all of the federal agency’s advertising dollars are going to GMMB Inc.
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