The Mortgage Mole

Who cares what Ma thinks
The FSA’s Money Advice Service, which is paid for by the industry, has hardly had the best press over the last year.

The organisation is currently the subject of a Treasury sub-committee inquirywhich will consider its effectiveness, whether it should be funded by the financial services industry and the salaries of senior staff.

The MAS plans to spend £19m of its £46.3m budget in 2012/13 on marketing and brand awareness. Last week, Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy criticised its “colossal” marketingspend.

What better way to ingratiate yourself with the industry that funds you than a six-week marketing campaignon television, in print and online with the risible tagline, What Does Ma Think?

But bizarrely MAS seems to think people will love the adverts so much it’s even included a behind the scenes video on Youtube for “fans” to look at titled ‘Behind the Scenes of the Everyday budgeting TV Ad’. With only 17 views at time of writing, it’s difficult to see what the point of it actually is – just like MAS in general!

The fastest man in Essex
Interviewing Brightstar Financial’s managing director Rob Jupp for an upcoming issue of Mortgage Strategy in the firm’s offices in Brentwood, Essex last week, Mole’s eye was caught by Usain Bolt’s shoe that was hanging on the company’s wall (see this week’s caption pic). Jupp told Mole he woke up with it after a charity auction that was held just before the Olympics, when all the reports were that Bolt would have an underwhelming games. While he wouldn’t tell Mole how much it cost him, with Bolt proving he’s still the fastest man on the planet, the value of it has certainly shot up. But what Mole really wants to know is whether three-time marathon runner Jupp will wear it for good luck on his next sporting attempt?