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
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.