View more on these topics

Ad watchdog gets formal with probe into MAS TV claims

The Advertising Standards Authority has launched a formal investigation into the controversial TV ad from the Money Advice Service following adviser complaints.

The ASA launched the investigation last week after it received 77 complaints about the ad, most of which came from the financial services sector.

Money Marketing has raised strong concerns about the content of the advertisement and revealed last month that the ASA was considering investigating the MAS over the 30-second TV ad, which began airing in June.

It features a voiceover claiming: “Our advice is independent and unbiased. Oh, and it is free. How is that for a breath of fresh air?”

The ad is part of a £4m nationwide advertising campaign to raise awareness about the MAS among the public.

An ASA spokesman says: “We are looking into complaints which have challenged whether the name Money Advice Service is misleading, because those who have complained believe the service offers guidance, not advice. We are also looking into complaints that challenge the claim ’our advice is independent and unbiased’.”

The ASA will now contact the MAS, which will be asked to comment on the concerns raised and defend the ad. The ASA council will then decide whether the complaints should be upheld.

An MAS spokeswoman says: “We are aware that the ASA is carrying out an investigation. We are liaising with the ASA and will await the outcome of the investigation.”

The MAS has a budget of £43.7m for 2011/12 which is funded by a statutory levy on the financial services industry.

The Government launched the independent body, which was formerly known as the Consumer Financial Education Body, in April.

Yellowtail Financial Planning managing director Dennis Hall says: “I am delighted this has turned into a formal investigation. The MAS was twisting the knife by talking about advice being independent and free. The line that says ’how is that for breath of fresh air’ is the one that really got to me.”

Money Marketing questioned the FSA about the ad in June, following concerns that the message of free and independent advice was at odds with the aims of the RDR in ensuring consumers understand the price and value of advice.

FSA director of conduct policy Sheila Nicoll said: “It is worth noting the MAS is very clear that it is generic advice that it is providing. What the MAS is proposing is actually pretty complementary to the RDR.”


Prudential increases dividend 20% as UK profits rise 7%

Prudential has hiked its interim dividend 20 per cent from 6.61p per share last year to 7.95p per share this year as UK operating profits increased 7 per cent from £330m in the first six months of 2010 to £353m this year. The provider’s UK performance was driven by a surge in corporate pensions sales, […]

Harry Kerr: Disappointing lack of platform clarity from the FSA

It is highly disappointing that this FSA paper has not delivered the expected clear cut decision on all issues relating to platforms as the delays in implementation beyond December 2012 announced by the FSA leaves the platform element of the RDR out of sync with the bulk of regulation. The FSA said it believes it […]

Bill Vasilieff: Nice to see a platform paper damp squib

The long awaited FSA platform policy statement finally arrived today and was, on the face of it, something of a damp squib. ‘Damp squib’ however might be another way of saying that good sense prevailed and the most controversial issue, cash rebates, will be subject to further work with the impact on consumers and platforms […]


Hugo Thorman: Still time for the FSA to change its cash rebate stance

Let’s give credit to the FSA – they certainly know how to surprise. The industry waited with bated breath for confirmation of all we had read in CP10/29 last November. All indications were that our pleas were not being heard. For those who have never heard of me or of wrap platforms those pleas were […]

Artemis Global Income: Making sense of global markets

The rally in cyclical ‘value’ stocks paused for breath in February, as investors took a more cautious tone and switched their attention back to defensive areas. In this article, Jacob de Tusch-Lec, manager of the Artemis Global Income Fund, explains how he has positioned the portfolio, given the many economic, geopolitical and policy risks that […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm