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Campaign ball finally rolling

Axa is making moves to restore confidence in the insurance industry by launching a £4m advertising campaign with Saatchi & Saatchi.

The campaign, which is taking over all the internal adverts on Central Line trains until October 27, is part of the giant insurer’s plans to boost consumer confidence in the industry.

It will feature the red slash from Axa’s logo and the strapline “redefining standards”, and will include TV, online and print advertising.

Axa group marketing director Olivier Mariée says: “Redefining standards is not just a tagline. It is the way we want to change our industry and build trust with our customers.

“The message and our new campaign is bold, but we want to change and we know how we want to change for the benefit of our customers.”

The move comes after Lifesearch managing director Tom Baigrie called on the insurance industry last month to unite and fund a hard-hitting advertising campaign highlighting the importance of income protection.

Baigrie said a generic campaign is needed to make consumers more aware of their “vulnerability to personal financial catastrophe”.

One month on and Baigrie says he is “amazed at the positive response” he has received. He says: “Bupa Individual Protection have offered to support the campaign financially, which is great, although the amount is confidential for now. Fortis, Royal Liver, Norwich Union and other life offices have also been supportive, and the ABI have been open-minded about the whole thing, so it’s looking positive.

“As for the rest it hasn’t been finalised yet. Obviously we’d love firms with major financial resources to be involved fully – as well as smaller firms – but as to what form that should take, it’s not something that’s finalised yet.”

However, the two same questions continue to arise – how much should each firm inject, and what if that particular firm doesn’t provide IP or any individual protection? Baigrie says the CV of firms willing to partake in the campaign “will reassure those we intend to ask for first round funding”.

He says: “We will use that funding to develop a fully-costed proposal for public awareness marketing campaign that can and we hope will be supported by politicians, regulators, consumer campaigners, the media and the industry as a whole. We will then seek funding from all industry parties to make that proposal reality.”

Some advisers talking to Money Marketing this week fear that premiums for protection polices may be cut as consumers look at ways to save money. So, whether it’s Axa promoting its own products or Baigrie pioneering a generic campaign, anything that convinces the public not to do so has got to be a help.

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