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Investment fund and Isa press ads plummet by 40%

Investment fund and Isa advertising in the press plummeted in line with sales over the first quarter of 2002, down by 41 per cent on the same period last year.

Total press advertising on investment funds between January 1 and April 4, 2002 fell to £53.3m from £90.72m last year, according to advertising monitors Thomson Intermedia.

Legal & General was the Isa season&#39s biggest press advertiser with a total spend of £4.1m for the first quarter while Fid-elity came second with a total of £3.2m.

Jupiter, last year&#39s biggest newspaper advertiser, fell to fourth place. Its press ad spend of £2.6m this year was 48 per cent down on the £5m it spent during the first three months of 2001. Newcomer New Star jumped straight in at number six for this year&#39s Isa season, spending £1.8m.

The biggest decreases in press advertising came from Schroders, Norwich Union and Axa. Schroders spent just under £0.3m in the first quarter of 2002 compared with almost £3m in 2001 while insurance giant Axa slashed its spend on investment fund ads to just £143,000 from £3.04m last year.

Thomson Intermedia head of research Charles Ilsley says: “January to early April is traditionally a time of heavy advertising for Isa providers but the stockmarket fall post-September 11 has clearly hit consumer confidence and planned advertising campaigns hard.”

Schroders director Robin Stoakley says: “Last year, we did a major brand campaign which was not specifically linked to the Isa season.

“We have advertised extensively in the trade press this year but we did not feel that national press advertising would be the best use of our money.”

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