Money matters, but not agencies

There are moments in life when it’s brought home to you with blinding clarity exactly where you stand in the food chain. For everyone involved in financial services communications, there was just such a moment recently.

The Financial Services Authority, with much grinding of gears and clanking of machinery, is belatedly cranking up a significant and costly long-term initiative designed to help tens of

E-mail address for letters: Please include your home or business addressmillions of consumers to become more comfortable and more confident about dealing with financial matters. It aims to do this via a raft of communications initiatives.

To develop and manage this enormous task, the FSA has set up a Steering Group, consisting of representatives from 11 organisations; an Advisory Group, in which 23 organisations are involved; and seven Working Parties, made up altogether of 74 people from almost as many organisations, each working party being responsible for communications to consumers at a specific lifestage.

Altogether, that adds up to more than 100 people, and very nearly 100 organisations. And how many of these, do you suppose, are from the world of communications agencies – the very people who produce and deliver a huge proportion of the communications addressed to consumers?

The answer is one. MT Rainey, of ad agency Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R.

There are only two conclusions one can draw from this. Either the FSA has inadvertently forgotten that we exist, or they think we haven’t got much to contribute.

Either way, I’m afraid that in the financial services food chain, we’re right down there with the plankton.

Lucian Camp,



London SW1


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