FSCS enlists BBC’s Sherlock actor in £3m ad campaign

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A new £3m advertising campaign by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme will feature BBC’s Sherlock actor Benedict Cumberbatch.

The ’Icons of Protection’ campaign will feature print and online adverts as well as two radio ads Cumberbatch has recorded and will point people to a new section on the FSCS’s website. The FSCS refuses to release how much of the £3m budget was paid to Cumberbatch. The campaign will run from now until 31 March 2014. 

The FSCS says the £3m budget equates to less than 0.5 per cent of what the financial services industry spends each year on marketing and advertising. In the past advisers have criticised the FSCS for its spend on marketing.

The FSCS scrapped an earlier £4m advertising campaign in September 2011 after admitting it did not have the desired impact on consumer awareness.

FSCS chief executive Mark Neale says: “The costs of the campaign are shared across the full range of financial services and do not result in a large bill for any firm.”

”Our research shows a lack of understanding and knowledge about the protection that we provide. Our awareness campaign, which includes the latest version of the radio advert, is designed to reassure the majority that their money and savings are safe, and warn those who unwittingly put their money at risk.”

When the FSCS announced it would be running a £3m campaign in January, advisers slammed the move as an “unbelievable waste of money”.