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Call for FSA and Govt ads to boost savings

The Government and the FSA should spend money on promoting a savings culture through advertising, says the trade body representing British advertisers.

Isba, which counts several of the big financial services companies among its membership of 300, issued the call after a recent meeting with the FSA over its plans to reform the way advertisers are permitted to use past performance.

It says providers are severely restricted in the way they advertise products so it should be up to the Government and the FSA to promote savings through advertising.

During the meeting, Isba representatives told the FSA that its plans for past performance were too restrictive and made it “virtually impossible for providers to differentiate their products”.

The Government has waded into the arena of advertising to promote savings in the past, most noticeably with last year&#39s working dogs ads from the Department for Work and Pensions which were intended to promote stakeholder.

The ads were given a lukewarm reception by the industry which complained that they did not accomplish their objective as they did not even mention pensions.

Isba director of public affairs Ian Twinn says: “If the regulator and the Government are going to restrict financial institutions, how do they expect them to differentiate their products?

“There is a role for the Government to launch advertising if it feels that saving is important.”

A Treasury spokesman says: “One of the FSA&#39s objectives is to promote consumer understanding of financial products. It would be up to them to do any advertising. They have a budget, how they spend it is up to them.”

FSA spokeswoman Kate Bristowe says: “We support the general principle of consumer education but that does not mean that we have signed up for an ad campaign.”

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