A weekly account of the curious goings-on in the world of financial services
It’s all in the voice
There is an intricate and highly specific art to choosing the perfect voice for a certain product; from the obvious choice for a certain gender to a certain accent, right down to the specifics of pitch, intonation and clarity. So when WSJ saw an email from Bridgend-based Magenta Financial Planning this week looking for recommendations for its “tone of voice” research, we got thinking. As Magenta is based in Wales, one would assume it logical to choose someone with a Welsh voice for the role. Which celebrity or spokesperson would then suit a financial planning firm?
WSJ has no idea, but knows these gigs can go far – think Billy Connolly and Isla Fisher as the voices of ING. WSJ has a personal favourite voiceover artist it would choose for all occasions: the confident, calming and ever-so-slightly sexy voice of the Piccadilly line.
Don’t sing too soon
Amid all the reports last week about Asda’s failed merger with Sainsbury’s, WSJ took note of a few intriguing articles about the deal. One such report detailing the behaviour of Sainsbury’s chief executive Mike Coupe immediately after first signing the deal last year caught our eye.
It seems Coupe was caught humming Ginger Rogers’ We’re in the Money by rolling television cameras. WSJ feels Coupe may not be humming a similar tune since the Competition and Markets Authority put the lid on the £3bn deal which would have created Britain’s largest supermarket group. Sainsbury’s restructuring costs were revealed as £46m in results last week, while year-on-year profits were down a third. It seems Coupe later apologised for the “unfortunate choice of song” that appears in 1933 film Gold Diggers and Broadway musical 42nd Street.
Out of context
“It’s all about cannibalisation”
Soprano Consulting’s Stuart Dyer describes the immediate future of the platform industry
“It includes the phrase ‘vaginal swabs’”
It is not all financial planning for Bamford Media’s Martin Bamford, as he writes up a Human Factors training blog
“It’s about time it’s led to the hangman’s noose, and sent back to the stone age whence it came”
One Money Marketing website commentator is not a fan of the FCA’s handbook
Separated at birth
The Pension Superfund chairman Chris Hitchen
English actor James Fleet
Send your suggestions to @mm_wsj.