THIS WEEK: M&G TV debut for new savers

M&G, the UK’s largest independent unit trust group, is to begin marketing itself to the ‘financially unsophisticated investor’ when it makes its TV debut in the new year.

M&G, the UK’s largest independent unit trust group, is to begin

marketing itself to the ‘financially unsophisticated investor’ when it

makes its TV debut in the new year.



The company, which was knocked off the top slot as the UK’s number one

personal equity plan provider six months ago, wants to rebuild its

market leading position in both PEPs and in unit trusts. In the past

year some of M&G’s biggest unit trusts have suffered from poor

performance.



The company believes it can boost business in both these product areas

by targeting a wider market.



Longer term, M&G intends to position itself as an all-round provider of

financial services, promoting its range of pension and life assurance

products as well as PEPs and unit trusts. It currently has pounds 15.3bn

in funds under management.



‘We want to reach out to a wider audience, to ordinary people looking to

save money over the longer term,’ said Rachel Medill, head of corporate

communications. ‘And we intend to build ourselves as something more than

just a PEP provider.’



The change in marketing strategy, which until now has focused on those

in the 45-plus age bracket responding to ads in the personal finance

press, coincides with the appointment of a new managing director, Vivian

Bazalgette, to improve M&G’s investment performance.



It also follows similar action by rival Henderson Administration, which

has just renamed itself Henderson Investors to popularise its brand and

range of products. The company is also planning its TV debut next year.



Both investment groups have studied the huge success of Richard

Branson’s Virgin Direct which, since its launch 18 months ago, has

built itself into the UK’s seventh largest PEP provider.



M&G’s TV campaign will break through newly appointed Rainey Kelly

Campbell Roalfe in the new year. Medill said the agency had won the

account after a three-way pitch, but refused to comment on how much

money would be spent on advertising.



A new copyline for M&G, ‘Managing your money for the longer term’, was

created by DMB&B Financial six months ago, but it is not clear if this

will appear in the new campaign, which will concentrate on TV ads.



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