LH-S lands 10m pensions task

The Financial Services Authority has appointed Lowe Howard Spink to handle a highly sensitive 10m campaign targeting people who were mis-sold their personal pensions.

LH-S competed against CDP, BMP DDB and Bates Dorland in the first round of pitches. It is understood that this list was whittled down to two agencies – LH-S and Bates – and their creative ideas were put into research.

The 10m campaign will urge as many as 2 million people to respond promptly to letters from their pension companies and direct mailshots from the FSA, which is in the second phase of the pension review to compensate those who were mis-sold pensions between 1988 and 1994.

Victims near to retirement were treated as high priority cases in the first phase of the review in 1994.

Helen Liddell, the economic secretary to the Treasury, has “named and shamed” the companies which have made the slowest progress in compensating victims.

LH-S must somehow find a way of reaching the victims of mis-selling without scaring the public away from pensions again. The Government also needs to keep pension companies on its side so that they will collaborate with the launch of stakeholder pensions. These are part of its mission to persuade the public not to rely on a state pension alone.

The FSA, the new super regulator – headed by former deputy governor of the Bank of England Howard Davies – has been given far-reaching powers as the watchdog of the financial services industry.

An FSA spokeswoman refuses to confirm the appointment of Lowe.

“We are due to make an announcement about the second phase policy in the summer and we cannot pre-empt that,” she says.

Western International Media will handle media planning and the Central Office of Information, which co-ordinated the pitch, will buy media in-house.

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