Case study: FCA keeps PPI complaints in the news during two-year campaign

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) recorded a spike in consumer awareness of the deadline to complain about being mis-sold payment protection insurance on loans, credit cards and mortgages in the final 10-week burst of its two-year campaign.

FCA worked with Kindred Agency on the PR for its PPI deadline campaign (Pic: M&C Saatchi)
FCA worked with Kindred Agency on the PR for its PPI deadline campaign (Pic: M&C Saatchi)

The final stage of PR activity, which ran from 17 June until 29 August, led to 60 per cent of total calls to the FCA’s helpline and 36 per cent of all FCA website traffic during the two-year campaign.

The aim of the campaign – devised by Kindred Agency – was to raise awareness of the approaching deadline of 29 August 2019 to make a complaint about being mis-sold PPI.

Dual target groups

While the broad target audience for the campaign was UK consumers over the age of 25, Kindred Agency identified two key groups as the focus for earned-media activity.

The first covered those who hadn’t yet made a decision about making a claim but were planning to, or wanted to find out more.

The second key target was vulnerable groups, including people with lower financial capability and confidence.

To ensure the campaign effectively reached BAME communities, Kindred worked with a team from Multicultural Marketing Consultancy (MMC), which developed PR for specialist and regional BAME media and a UK-wide community outreach programme.

Time-sensitive campaign

To build momentum with consumers and create reasons for media – including newspapers, magazines, TV and radio – to cover the campaign multiple times over the summer, Kindred positioned each activation in relation to the deadline.

Activations focused on 'one month to go', 'one week to go', 'one day to go' were coupled with latest campaign-response figures, including the amount of money paid back to consumers so far, which has now reached £36bn.

Kindred recruited world champion memory expert Dominic O'Brien to give tips on how to remember whether you may have had PPI, as well as TV personality Alison Hammond, who appeared in interviews with consumer media such as OK! and Closer magazines.

A wider panel of influencers included 90s icon Mr Motivator and personal-finance expert Sarah Pennells, as well as bloggers such as Skint Dad and Lotty Earns, who strengthened the campaign’s consumer appeal and reach through media interviews and bespoke social content.

Heavyweight broadcasting

Key broadcast moments included the FCA’s head of business and consumer communications, Emma Stranack, appearing on BBC Radio 4's Today programme and BBC TV's Breakfast on 28 July to push the 'one month to go' message.

This drove more than 124,000 page views to the website between 7am and 9am, with more than 400,000 throughout the rest of the day.

A BBC Breakfast interview focused on 'one day to go' on 28 August sparked more than 30,000 users visiting the FCA site between 7am and 9am, and the highest number of concurrent users (6,596).

Alongside this activity, MMC worked with community representatives including Christine Yau MBE, chair of the London Chinese Community Centre; Abdi Ali Daakir, a consumer economics adviser; and Merisha Stevenson, a business consultant, who helped to engage specialist BAME media including Sing Tao Daily, Panjab radio and Somali Cable TV, in different languages where necessary.

Uplift in interest

Across the two-year campaign more than 142,000 people called the FCA’s helpline and 6.2 million visited its website.

The response during the final burst – in which 800 pieces of media coverage were generated – accounts for the lion’s share, and the total 2.2 million web users in the final period of the campaign represented a 631 per cent increase compared to the previous 10-week period.

"PR was really important to us as a key driver of consumer action – and we saw unprecedented response levels," explained Stranack.

"Our agencies rose to the challenge – how on earth to keep PPI and the deadline newsworthy?

"Kindred and MMC came up with different ways in to the story which helped sustain high levels of media interest.

"We were absolutely delighted to have had so much coverage and to have got our messages across to such a wide audience."

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