View more on these topics

FSCS scraps £4m advertising campaign

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme is scrapping its £4m advertising campaign after it failed to raise consumer awareness of the scheme.

The FSCS launched the campaign in January but now admits the ads did not have the desired impact. Speaking to Money Marketing, FSCS chief executive Mark Neale (pictured) says: “We have looked at the market research flowing from that campaign and asked ourselves some fundamental questions about what is the best way of communicating our messages.

“We need to home in much more on the contexts in which we really matter to consumers, for example, when they are buying financial products. We want to work with the industry to get the FSCS messages across in those contexts.”

Neale added that introducing the concept of the FSCS to consumers and clients at the point of sale and during times of market volatility may prove more successful than running ads.

Plan Money director Peter Chadborn says: “It sounds more logical that the FSCS should be promoted at the point of sale and made clear in product literature.”


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


There are 19 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. all they really need to do is provide IFAs and Mortgage Brokers with a free simple flyer/brochure that can be given to clients with initial disclosures that explains the FSCS and what it does and does not cover.

  2. John Bloomfield – great simple cost effective idea. Will probably never happen.

    People only need to know about FSCS when they are buying a product so why not give a flyer at the point of sale. It might even feel like the FSCS were working with us rather than against us.

    After all, the FSCS is a huge selling point for any financial product covered.

  3. It was just fishing for business anyway. The FSCS is just part of the looneytunes extra legal above the law unaccountable fabianistic social control system created by New Labour. Shut it down.

  4. Traffic light system. Red, Amber, Blue, Green
    Colour code all financial products and then point out not only is red a warning that there is NO FSCS cover (UCIS and most structured investments for example), lack of a colour coding is RED be default. Structured deposits would be Blue or Green, bank and building society accounts up to £85k would be Green and over £85k woudl be Amber. OEICS etc could be anywhere from Amber, Blue to Green depending on equity content.
    This is NOT FSA pre approval, which I accept will NOT work, but just as nature has colour schemes which act as a warning, so COULD the FS system.
    The FSCS spending a modest amount then on highlighting the colour coding and getting the leaflet/booklet out via IFAs and mortgage brokers would be the most cost effective way of getting the message across. (in my opinion) about both the FSCS and being aware of warning signs…

  5. The FSCS is moving into areas it was never set up to work in.

    It is the fund of last resort when firms go bust, not the promoter of complaints or the resolver of them.

    As for how it is funded, it has a responsibility to its funders (us poor saps) to use our money wisely, not spend it on advertising its services

    Which idiot decided to spend compensation funds on advertising? They should be censured or sacked for incompetence.

    All IFAs should write to the FSCS and complain about this misuse of funds

    This sort of abuse of our trust is apalling.

  6. John Bloomfield – a stunningly simple idea and yet for that reason will probably never happen.

    Just think that for one inexpensive leaflet the awareness of the scheme could be raised, consumer confidence increased etc….. etc….. but why do that when you can blow £4m of someone else’s money on an advertising experiment? I guess that as usual no one is personally responsible for that rather silly idea that I could have told them wouldn’t work – I probably wouldn’t even have charged them for my time.

    When they are dreaming up these rather expensive experiments why don’t they first of all spend a few grand on getting some IFAs, Tied agents and even bank counter staff together at a venue (outside expensive London) and listen to people who deal and meet with consumers on a daily basis and ask them for ideas; they might even find out themselves that we don’t wear black masks and stripey shirts carrying bags marked ‘swag’. Most of that lot wouldn’t know a consumer if they bit them on the face!

  7. I’ll have some what Steve Farrall is smoking. It appears to clear the mind of any delusions as to the real purpose of this consumer compensation machine.

  8. Yes, put the effort into informing people at the point of sale, but please make sure the messages are clear. The FSA’s review of structured product brochures in 2009 found that in many cases mention of FSCS was confusing. Investors were assured by mention of FSCS but did not get the point that counterparty failure would not be covered.

  9. Massive advertising spend to justify its own existence. Typical of the thousands of quangos in this country – unelected, unaccountable and stuffed full of jobsworths who deliver very poor value for money measured on any scale.

  10. Like the FOS this organisation is intent on taking on a self-perpetuating role and with unlimited access to industry funding it feels enabled to do so.

    Rather than waste funds on such profligacy they should use the £4m to support necessary payments and reduce the industry’s bill accordingly.

  11. I agree with all the comments so far.

    It is so easy and simples to spend other peoples money especialy when bureaucrats are doing it.

  12. Did it fail because they were hoping for millions of new complaints, which did not materialise?

  13. Steven Farrell your abuse is spot on! And because it’s not anonymous it has impact. “Fabianistic” indeed. Brilliant!*
    For my part I think the FSCS and every such body should have a primary mission to make itself redundant (through improving its market) within say 10 years. Otherwise the working behaviours naturally encouraged are those that help build quasi civil service careers, not those of efficiency and constant improvement.
    * ps How much better would blogs be if anonymous contibutions were by moderator permission only, as they are in all print editions?

  14. More needs to be done to protect investors in structured products. If a product is regulated by the FSA then the FSCS should apply. The collapse of Lehmans, which had the same credit rating as RBS, illustrates the point. If the governement can step in and protect bank deposits with taxpayers’ money over and above the compensation limits available at the time, then it should also compensate, within the FSCS limits, those investors with Lehman backed products.

  15. Ahh, I see the FSA trolls are out again – hallo ‘missold’

  16. We’ve built our business on advertising so we know just a tiny little bit about how it works and what definitely does not work.

    The amount of OUR money that the FSCS has spent only to discover that educating the public is VERY expensive is tragic.

    The highly paid (but often very inexperienced individuals) who are all too happy to spend OUR money on their pipe dreams should be accountable for their actions, in just same way as anyone who runs a business is if they spend money on projects that fail to deliver.

    Next they’ll be trying to inject the FSCS into the storyline of The Archers and Eastenders. Now that would work. Oh sh1t, I’ve just told them how to do it.

    : )

  17. heads should roll for the waste of £4m, even i could have told them it would not work. Don’t promote in the hope of an outcome, prevent it in the first instant.

  18. Be interesting to know which firm the FSCS paid £4,000,000 to and if there were any pre-existing personal relationships existing at that time between the two. Any guesses?

  19. @hughjeego:

    Strictly Financial did the research into consumer awareness; Mindshare did the media planning; McCann Erickson Manchester did the ad campaign; aardman did the advert; Hanover Communications did the Public Affairs lobbying & PR to support the campaign; and presumably the rest of the £4m got spent on the TV/radio advertising slots.

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