Child Trust chief urges Gov’t action over parents’ delay

The marketing chief of one of the UK’s leading Child Trust Fund investment companies is calling on the Government to compel parents to use vouchers more quickly following a late rush of applications ahead of the scheme’s first deadline.

According to Family Investments marketing director Miles Bingham, people have been scrambling to open accounts days before vouchers expire, sending in applications by special delivery at “considerable expense”, after belatedly realising HM Revenue & Customs would invest the money for their child instead.

Bingham is calling for the Inland Revenue to cut the voucher expiry dates to three months from 12, so children do not miss out on interest payments. The first vouchers, which are worth between &£250 and &£500 for children born after September 2002, were issued last January. Up to 600,000 vouchers are due to expire imminently, despite two above-the-line campaigns and a direct marketing drive from the Government (MW September 29, 2005).

Bingham says the direct mail campaign proved a “damp squib”, with little increase in activity. He adds that the multi-million-pound advertising urging parents to open accounts, created by M&C Saatchi, has been largely ineffective.

A bigger motivator appears to be the voucher’s expiry date, he says, with parents clamouring for information and opening accounts at the last minute. Only 1.1 million of a total of 2 million vouchers have so far been invested.

“Our message to the Government is to give vouchers a shorter shelf-life so people will be more keen to act when they receive them,” says Bingham.

Latest from Marketing Week

PLEASE SIGN IN OR REGISTER. IT'S FREE, QUICK AND EASY!

Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and inspiration that will help you develop as a marketer and leader.

Register and receive the best content from the only title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work, so we can make Marketing Week more relevant to you.

Register now

THE BEST CONTENT

Our award winning editorial team and columnists will ask the biggest questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.

THE BIGGEST ISSUES

From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we will be your guide.

PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Dedicated to developing your skills and helping you achieve marketing excellence. Find guidance on leadership, professional development and the latest industry jobs.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3711 or email subscriptions@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here