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Fund firms shun the Sunday Times

Five of the UK&#39s biggest fund managers are to withdraw their advertising from the Sunday Times amid claims the newspaper is anti-fund management.

Schroders, Threadneedle, Perpetual, Invesco and Aberdeen all say they will not be advertising in the paper for the foreseeable future. IFA Hargreaves Lansdown has also pulled out and other fund managers are expected to follow suit in the next few weeks.

Norwich Union Investment Funds says it will advertise until the end of April and then make a decision. Gartmore is considering whether to continue advertising.

Fund managers say response rates from Sunday Times advertising have been low.

Last October, Autif complained to the Press Complaints Commission after the Sunday Times wrote that the investment fund industry was “cheating small investors” with hidden charges. The PCC rejected the complaint, saying quotes from the FSA backed up the Sunday Times story.

Schroders director Robin Stoakley says: “One has to ask whe-ther the editorial policy which appears to be anti-fund management, particularly active, is responsible for the decline in advertising response.”

Hargreaves Lansdown head of research Mark Dampier says: “The Sunday Times appears to be on a mission to knock the entire financial services industry from building societies to fund managers. We would like to see some balance.”

Sunday Times managing editor Richard Caseby says: “It would not surprise me if an occasional advertiser was disenchanted with our robust articles. There has been no downturn in advertising.”

Around 1,300 people packed the Grosvenor House Hotel in Park Lane, London last week for the 11th annual Money Marketing Financial Services Awards.

Twenty-six awards were presented by TV celebrity Jonathan Ross (pictured right).

Industry personality of the year, sponsored by Platform Home Loans, was Keith Popplewell for the second year running. Popplewell is a dedicated IFA trainer and a Money Marketing columnist.

IFA of the Year, sponsored by Norwich Union, was Marsh Financial Services. Marsh also triumphed as Best Pension IFA, sponsored by Scottish Equitable.

The evening&#39s entertainment was provided by Jools Holland and his band.

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