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FCA: Why we picked Arnie as face of PPI

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger featuring in the FCA’s PPI adverts

FCA presentation reveals why Terminator character was chosen for PPI campaign 

The reasons behind the FCA’s decision to pick Arnold Schwarzenegger for its payment protection insurance claim deadline campaign have been revealed through a Freedom of Information Act request.

The FCA used advertising agency M&C Saatchi to come up with ideas for a PPI deadline campaign, and has paid nearly half a million pounds for its services. The advertisements featuring Arnie are intended to raise awareness of the August 2019 deadline, signpost consumers to information and help people decide what to do.

Slides presented to the FCA by Saatchi, acquired by Money Marketing through an FOIA request, show that the animatronic 80s head of the former Terminator star would be a good fit for the campaign for a number of reasons.

The presentation says the chosen character needs to be “the epitome of directness”, “a doer, not a talker”, and “likeable enough to get away with being blunt.”

“This person should be recognisable and able to get our message talked about by the nation,” the presentation says.

The FCA conducted three rounds of consumer testing using consultants The Nursery Research & Planning.

All found Arnie’s “Do It Now” message “arresting”. Consumers said the campaign was “unusual and off the wall” but “easy to remember.”

“You don’t have to like it to get it,” the presentation adds, noting that some consumers who did not like the advert still laughed at it.

“While the majority of people do like it, it is not to everyone’s taste,” Saatchi says. “However, even those that do not ‘like’ it are still able to take out a clear message. Arnie’s character – and presentation here – is, while shouty, still playful and enjoyable.”

A slide from Saatchi’s presentation to the FCA

The research found that “for some younger consumers, this is the only ad they are prepared to consider.”

The presentation reads: “He’s like a fitness instructor for decision making, he is only a head because he wants people to use theirs, he keeps things ticking because, without him, we put things off, and his job is to drive people to the FCA to make an informed decision.”

Saatchi concludes: “The Arnie character will evolve across two years ensuring that people continue to pay attention as the messaging evolves. Some variation in Arnie’s tone and catchphrases is key to this.”

Saatchi also dismisses fears that Arnie would be seen as a representative of the FCA brand, but is a positive presence in teamwork with the FCA representative in the adverts.

FCA ropes in Hollywood star Schwarzenegger for PPI campaign

The regulator confirmed the advertising campaign was funded through the group account of the 18 firms with the most PPI complaints.

However, the regulator would not release information about how much Arnold Schwarzenegger was paid to feature in the advertising campaign.

It said that information was exempt from the Freedom of Information Act because it compromises the actor’s personal data. It also said it could prejudice his commercial interests.



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There are 24 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Every single comment I’ve seen about the ad declares it to be rubbish.

  2. We are always asked to look at our target market and ensure what we deliver is appropriate. This crass advert comes across as having been designed by young people who cannot relate to the generation like me who are most affected.

  3. If the FCA feel that they must advertise the PPI deadline, surely just a simple statement on TV would have sufficed. The claims management companies are bound to provide punters with all/any motivation that they might need.

  4. Lord Kitchener would have been better and we wouldn’t have had to pay him!

  5. Surely this is preferring one party over another, they spend this money on advertising one deadline when they should be spending at least if not more advertising common law deadlines of 6 + 3 with a 15 year longstop

  6. Putting aside the waste of millions of my clients pound notes

    I think this is a fair refection on the FCA, headed up by an out of date has been’s, aggressive, disturbing, a machine that cant be reasoned with and a joke.

    And to think not so long ago Andrew Bailey was waxing lyrical about the FCA brand……..

    I wonder if the FCA have heard the story of the emperors new clothes……
    nice move Saatchi, for proving the naked truth !

  7. Why did they choose Arnie?

    Because they’ve got too much money to burn!

  8. I love the fact that they won’t release how much they paid Arnie!

    So the FCA gets to spend vast amounts of money and isn’t accountable to anyone!

    You couldn’t write this rubbish!

    Can you imagine if we changed our remuneration statement in our client disclosure to say, ‘sorry we can’t tell you how much we are charging as it may prejudice our position’?

    Do as they say, not as they do!!

    Oh, and by the way, our FCA fees will go up next year, and we don’t get a choice but to pay it. Is this true dictatorship? Or a monopoly?

  9. It’s the old story about how profligate the regulator is when spending other peoples money.

    be it advisers, insurers, banks, loan or credit card providers.

  10. so saatchi do the fca logo now the ppi advert sounds like the fca have gone restricted as only using one company just so happens it is the most expensive one that our money is being used for.Hav ethey done a suitability report saying why they are using these people and spending others money. To top it all they are asking kids for ideas and again not us so they trust kids more when will this ever stop

  11. It’s unbelievable!! They’re so proud of hemsalves for having wasted yet another bucket load of money.

    Seriously, lost for words!!

  12. steve i read somewere they paid arnie £120,000 and when arnie was asked he said i will be back in 5 mins

  13. I would not mind this advert, IF, the FCA spend the same effort and money on improving consumers understanding of financial products.
    It seems unfair to just highlight deadlines. I for one must receive at least 5 phone calls a week, asking me to claim my free PPI check. Is there anyone left in the UK that has not received at least a phone call?
    I wonder, if as much time and effort were to be spent explaining DB Transfers, the dangers and value of advice, what the future outcome would be?

  14. FCA: Why we picked Arnie as face of PPI

    Surely to paraphrase the American comedian Rich Hall: ” He was the finest actor available in his price range”

  15. What a load of pretentious advertising tosh. It just shows the caliber of people who were responsible for this at the Regulator. It seems they will swallow anything if they see it on a Powerpoint Presentation.

  16. I’d bet good money that this job, like so many others, wasn’t put out to competitive tender. Why not?

    From Saatchi’s point of view, it’s money for old rope. Just come up with any old rubbish and they’ll pay whatever we bill ’em for. It’s not their money, so what do they care? Anyone up for dinner at The Araki this evening?

  17. Do the PPI companies not hassle people enough about claiming PPI? Is it only me who is sick of hearing adverts about it? Is it not the case that unless you have been living on the moon, surely you would know that you are able to look at claiming?

    With this in mind, why oh why not use this budget for something more useful such as promoting the benefits of financial advice, or educate people on investing, educate people on pensions?

    Or perhaps, dare I say, maybe the money should be used to lower fees for advice firms/or give better support for smaller firms trying to get by in this disproportionately regulated environment. After all, banks have been the culprits of many years of scandals which in turn no doubt has lead to excess regulation. This penalises advice firms and consumers who end up paying more for advice.

    There’s way too many ‘where there’s a blame there’s a claim’ adverts out there these days. Surely this promotes the wrong culture? Now the FCA is on the band wagon.

    I really think this budget could have been put to better use.

    • Its largely a (hugely expensive, but at other peoples’ expense) smokescreen to distract attention from the FCA’s own failure to police the mis-selling of PPI. And it’s working ~ how many times do we hear/read of anyone asking: How could the FSA have just stood by for years doing nothing whilst the mis-selling of PPI was burgeoning into an epidemic? Did it know but chose consciously to ignore the issue and focus its attention on other things? Or did it simply not even think about it?

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