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Promoting the value of saving

You report that Ron Sandler has attacked the failure of the financial services industry to motivate savers.

I agree with his views. What really has been done by the industry in recent years to promote the real benefits of saving, and, even more importantly, the benefits of life and critical-illness protection to the general public?

Yes, there have been a multitude of campaigns. But they have all sought to win a greater share of an existing cake rather than expanding the market by informing and enthusing the general public about the real and vital benefits our industry offers.

Many years ago, Hambro Life sponsored a film, The Widow&#39s Story. There was one fleeting mention of life insurance and certainly no life company sell but no one who saw the film was left unmoved and unconvinced of the need for adequate life insurance.

I particularly remember one showing to a hard-bitten direct salesforce. Within days, over 60 per cent of them had started or increased their life cover.

A similar film illustrated the desperate plight of a family which had made inadequate and late pension provision.

Yet these films are rarely shown now – and there appears to be little will in the industry to repeat and update this powerful and motivational message.

If just a small part of the Pru&#39s reported £20m spend on marketing and a small portion of other companies&#39 spend was to be diverted to generic saving and protection motivation media, compulsion might become less of an issue and the public would better recognise the true value of what we do.

Michael Bryant

Honfleur, France

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