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&#39The savings gap can be closed with better ads&#39

The UK&#39s savings gap is as much due to poor advertising as product providers not having the right products, according to Prudential ad agency WCRS chairman Robin Wight.

Speaking at the launch of the £20m the Plan from the Pru campaign which he directed, Wight says he came to these conclusions following research of financial services advertising in his preparations for the Pru brief.

The Pru&#39s campaign draws upon poetry and emotional imagery to direct consumers to its financial planning helpline and internet site.

Wight says: “Our research shows that all financial services advertising is a failure with consumers. Talking babies annoy consumers and does not engage them, and flying pigs are just flying pigs. The best is Scottish Widows, but all that achieves is brand awareness. One of the reasons for the £27bn savings gap is that consumers have not been won over by the advertising.”

Standard Life advertising manager Pamela Hyder stands by its baby James campaign, which it says communicates to the consumer that money invested with Standard Life is in safe hands and claims it has seen brand awareness increase by 20 per cent since the launch of the campaign.

Scottish Widows head of advertising Kevin Sime says: “The Pru have had their own challenges and it is good to see them trying to address them. Financial services is a dry and highly regulated subject that constrains creativity but it is wrong to say there is no engaging advertising.”

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