Speaking at this year’s Platform Evolution conference in London, Cummings said the IFA brand was not as strong as it could have been for three reasons – lack of promotional spend, lack of input from industry representatives and lack of communication between trade bodies.
He said: “More should be done when you are trying to put the people together who have got money with people who have got the intention to do things. Odd stuff gets in the way, which tends to be politics. IFA Promotion won’t talk to Aifa, won’t talk to IFP, won’t talk to PFS, won’t talk to whoever, and all of these things just get ridiculous.”
But IFAP chief executive David Elms says there is “total communication” between IFAP and Aifa.
He says: “Over the years, I can think of numerous occasions when we have been undertaking activity and have shared it with Aifa so that they understand what we are doing.”
Cummings questioned the lack of an IFA response to the Natwest MoneySense ads, which, when mystery-shopped by Money Marketing and Which?, found Natwest advisers promoting the bank’s own mortgages rather than giving impartial advice.
He said: “Where was our response to that? Where has the IFA response been?”
However, Cummings said Aifa is now trying to generate an advertising promotional campaign in response to the Natwest campaign but said: “We are not in a position to do it from a consumer perspective because it is all about the funding and getting organisations working together.”
Elms says: “Our prime objective remains to promote the value and benefits of independent advice to consumers, consumer media and other influencers.”