The FCA has paid advertising agency M&C Saatchi more than £400,000 as part of plans to introduce a deadline on payment protection insurance complaints.
The regulator has proposed setting a deadline for PPI claims of June 2019, and is looking to launch a wide-scale consumer communications campaign to inform people of the new rules.
As part of a proposed £42m total cost of the campaign, the £444,413 paid to Saatchi so far has covered “campaign strategy and creative development work undertaken,” the FCA says in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.
The FCA has also procured a contract with Marylebone-based advertising agency Manning Gottlieb to implement the campaign, but has not spent any money on the company’s services at this stage.
The FCA confirms in the response that any further media campaign buying activity will be paid from the proposed £42m cost if the awareness campaign goes ahead.
The regulator has proposed funding the advertising campaign through a levy on 18 firms that each reported over 100,000 complaints about advising, selling and arranging PPI from 1 August 2009 to 1 August 2015.
The media awareness campaign was due to begin around June this year to coincide with when the PPI deadline rule would come in to force and two years ahead of its actual implementation to allow the FCA to produce the campaign.
However, in December last year, the FCA said that it had received a large volume of responses to its proposals around PPI, so the deadline and rule introduction may be pushed back a few months.
PPI complaints make up around 35 per cent of complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service, its latest data shows, with more than 110,000 coming in the first nine months of 2016/17.