The Financial Services Compensation Scheme has asked PR firms to pitch for a contract worth up to £540,000, Money Marketing can reveal.
The FSCS has put out to tender a PR contract which sets the costs at between £360,000 and £540,000. The contract will be for two years initially at a cost of £180,000 a year, with the option to extend this.
The organisation says most of the cost will fall on banks and building societies but advisers will be among the firms faced with picking up the remainder.
The FSCS currently employs PR firm Hanover but refuses to disclose how much it is paid. The Hanover contract is up for renewal.
The successful agency will help the FSCS’s four-person in-house communications team with reputation management, campaigning, organising interviews and a wider awareness campaign.
An FSCS spokeswoman says: “The contract is for two years with a possible extension depending on performance. This is to support consumer awareness and help achieve our target by 2019.”
Jacksons Wealth Management managing director Pete Matthew says: “I don’t begrudge money going to the FSCS as long as we are kept in the loop and know the money is being put to good use.”
Plutus Wealth Management chartered financial planner Tom Dean says: “While the FSCS probably does not have the right skills in-house, the PR firm will make a nice profit.”
In 2013 the FSCS spent £3m on an advertising campaign featuring BBC Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch. A £4m campaign in 2011, which included TV ads with animated characters, was scrapped after the FSCS acknowledged it had not achieved the desired impact.