MAS to offer ‘advice’ on moving house in new marketing campaign

The Money Advice Service is launching a six-week marketing campaign, including a TV advert that claims to offer “free and impartial advice” to people who are moving home.

The campaign will contain a series of television, print and online adverts focusing on moving home, redundancy and everyday finances. It starts tonight at 8.45pm on ITV during Coronation Street.

The commercials feature key life events where money matters would apply and how MAS can provide a free, Government-backed “advice” service. MAS says the aim is to support its statutory duty of making the UK more financially capable.

One of the TV adverts shows a young couple in a car, looking at a house they wish to purchase. A young expecting mum turns to her partner and says: “It is perfect, what do you think?” Then, from the back seat of the car, a young child responds: “What does Ma [MAS] think? If you are moving, Ma can help. The Money Advice Service is setup by Government and offers free and impartial advice, with tools to work out what you can afford”.

MAS plans to spend £19m of its £46.3m 2012-13 budget on marketing and brand awareness. Last week the Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy criticised its “colossal” marketing spend and questioned whether a large brand-building exercise is necessary.

As part of the campaign MAS commissioned a YouGov poll showing 52 per cent of the UK population have never received financial advice.

Of those who have received advice 32 per cent say it came from a financial adviser and 28 per cent say the advice was from a bank or building society.

A regional breakdown of the figures puts Wales as the most advised area with six in 10 recalling receiving advice.

Just 45 per cent of Londoners have received advice while the North-East is bottom of the national league table with just 36 per cent ever receiving financial advice.

MAS chairman Gerard Lemos says: “This campaign is designed to shake people out of their money slumber and prompt them to manage their finances well.

“The research confirms the advice gap is still a chasm and, if we are to be a nation that saves, plans and prepares for the unexpected, we need to be creative and reach many millions of people to tell them they can get free and unbiased advice from the Money Advice Service.”

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