CAMPAIGN: Finance - Regaining the trust of investors

Client: Association of Investment Trust Companies

Client: Association of Investment Trust Companies

Campaign: Launch of ’its’ PR Team: Lansons Communications

Timescale: Mar-Dec 1999

Budget: pounds 350,000

Investment trusts had been perceived as old-fashioned and out-dated.

Under the initiative of a new director general, the trade body for

investment trusts, the Association of Investment Trust Companies (AITS),

decided to rebrand the product as a mainstream vehicle for private

clients’ long-term investment.


To demystify and to relaunch investment trusts as the ’its’ brand,

emphasising them as a cost-effective and diversified way to dabble in

the stock market.

To support AITC’s proposal to raise a marketing budget at a conference

for directors of investment trust and to boost confidence within the


Strategy and Plan

In March 1999 the AITC held its first conference for all of its

directors, attracting 320 board members. They were asked to provide

funding for a comprehensive, long-term marketing drive, and pounds 17.5

million was generated.

The intention behind the PR campaign was to build a foundation on which

the long-term marketing campaign could be built, generating informative

and positive discussion in the media.

Throughout August and September, City and personal finance editors were

notified about the forthcoming campaign. Then, in October, the brand was

officially launched in the nationals and members of the press were

invited to a film preview of East is East, with the ’its’ TV

advertisement being screened before and after the film.

Measurement and Evaluation

The national press ran comment columns on the new ’its’ logo prior to

the brand’s launch, and more than 20 case studies on satisfied investors

were published.

Over the course of the year the media coverage generated proved that the

rebranding campaign had reintroduced interest in the topic. Presswatch

analysis measured editorial exposure and revealed that it rose from

three per cent of all financial services press coverage in September, to

eight per cent in October, and then to nine per cent in December.

Evaluation consultants Metrica reported that between January and

December 1999 a total of 1,216 articles were generated, with a peak of

261 in October - the month of the campaign’s launch.

During the course of 1999, the Financial Times , the Daily Telegraph,

Investor’s Chronicle, the Sunday Telegraph, the Guardian and Sunday

Business all gave the campaign favourable coverage.

NOP conducted a survey to gauge increases in awareness of and

favourability to investment trusts. The results revealed that in October

general awareness of investment trusts rose by 26 per cent; investors

who were for them rose by 35 per cent; and that investors who believed

investment trusts were accessible increased by 44 per cent.


The campaign managed to transform an investment vehicle considered

something of a dinosaur into a vibrant, ’new’ brand. The media covered

the topic for the entire duration of the campaign, with exposure peaking

at the launch of the ’its’ brand. The PR aspect provided a firm basis

from which to kick off the ad campaign.

As well as raising the substantial marketing and advertising budget, the

AITC conference, also boosted the industry’s confidence in itself.

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