Impressed by all the rich diversity of our industry? Me neither.

At a time when the whole Pensions Freedom thing is creating new potential for funds that generate income, and which adopt a nice broad multi-asset approach to do so, here are the headlines* of all the investment product ads in this week’s Financial Adviser.

Delivering income profits month in, month out.*

Investec Multi-Asset Solutions.  Our solutions, for your clients’ needs.

Income, time after time.

Income IQ – empowering investors through intelligence

Built for retirement income – proven multi-asset funds providing attractive income and growth

Risk-targeted multi-asset funds are designed to stay on track

Fashion changes, style remains.

Global multi-asset income from BlackRock.

(The asterisk * relates to an Artemis ad where, strictly speaking, the words quoted appear in the copy and the headline is just the product’s name The Artemis Monthly Distribution Fund.  All the same, I think the words quoted clearly sum up the theme of the advertisement.)

Credit, I guess, to Baillie Gifford, whose Managed Fund ad headline, Fashion changes, style remains stands out from the pack., even if arguably not in a particularly good way.  The message, that the investment strategy of their fund has stood the test of time over 25 years unlike some of today’s new “solutions with funky names dreamed up by marketing gurus”, is distinctly different and agreeably assertive too.  But I do rather wonder whether the creative approach – the headline as quoted, alongside a visual of a woman in a little black dress – is instant and immediate enough to get across to time-poor advisers with inboxes piled high with clients’ Pensions Freedom queries.

Otherwise, much as I appreciate that the financial adviser trade press is a medium much closer to a village hall noticeboard than to a powerful environment in which to establish real brand differentiation, I can’t help thinking that this really exceptional degree of saminess is all a bit self-defeating.  If this kind of advertising was free, then fine.  But spending perfectly good money to be one of seven investment groups all basically running the same interchangeable copy does seem a little bit silly to me.

One thought on “Impressed by all the rich diversity of our industry? Me neither.

  1. My sister’s lad is doing an internship, with his new degree in Philosophy from Warwick, at an agency in Soho Square with a fancy name like Purple Universe. They have Investec as a client and he suggested one of their banking services should be sold with the thought, “The bank that’s too small to fail”, which I thought was good.

    I would have said for their Multi-Asset Solutions:

    Pension alternatives? The zebra talks.

    But then I am a muttering street philosopher, these days, not an intern.

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