Financial services company Prudential, stung by bad publicity over
the pensions ’mis-selling’ scandal, is in discussion with PR agencies as
part of a general review of its consumer image. The firm does not
currently retain any agency for consumer PR.
Ludgate, Lexis, the Red Consultancy and Lowe Bell Good Relations are
believed be among the agencies Prudential has talked to. Ludgate already
acts for Scottish Amicable, which Prudential bought in March.
Brunswick handles Prudential’s corporate relations and, although
lobbying work is handled internally, Market Access carries out some
Head of media relations, Mike Davies, confirmed that the company was
looking at how it structures its consumer PR. ’We’re looking at how we
can get broader, more mainstream consumer coverage,’ he said.
Prudential, the UK’s biggest seller of pensions, has been identified as
one of the major culprits of mis-selling. Chief executive Sir Peter
Davis two weeks ago admitted that the company would fail to meet its
first deadline for solving the most urgent pensions mis-selling
Prudential is one of a number of companies have been accused of giving
bad advice when selling pensions.
Helen Liddell, Economic Secretary to the Treasury launched a ’name and
shame’ list of pension companies after the election, in an attempt to
speed up the resolution of cases. According to the most recent list,
released last week, Prudential has completed over 18,000 case
assessments out of around 60,000 identified as being wrongly sold.
Sir Peter Davis said Prudential faced a challenge in restoring customer
confidence as a result of the debacle. The company has set aside pounds
450 million to compensate wrongly advised customers.
The review of Prudential’s consumer PR strategy coincides with the
current high profile TV advertising campaign, featuring Sir Peter
He also announced the resignation of the chief executive of Prudential
UK, Jim Sutcliffe, along with the restructuring of the company into
smaller business units.
The company celebrates its 150th anniversary next year.