NEW YORK (3/25/09)--Consumer confidence in the long-term health of financial institutions is significantly influenced by advertising and marketing efforts, according to a new study by Nielsen IAG. “This research shows that ‘out of sight’ can mean ‘out of business,’” said Richard Khaleel, executive vice president of Nielsen IAG’s Financial practice. “The current economic climate makes it more important than ever for financial institutions to bolster confidence among their clients, and this study clearly demonstrates the link between advertising and confidence levels. “With constant scrutiny on the industry, it’s clear that taking control of the message in advertising and press can make all the difference for a brand,” he added. The study comes as data indicate year-to-year reductions in advertising expenditures in the financial services and insurance categories. Year-over-year ad spending in financial services and insurance was down 13.4% in 2008 compared with 2007. The study also found that confidence was linked to age and affluence, and the amount of risk associated with the financial institution. Older adults aged 55-plus and those with assets over $100,000 were more confident than average adults. Financial institutions fared better than life insurance companies and investment firms. Overall, a minority of study respondents said they had “complete confidence” in their financial institutions:
* Less than 38% had confidence in their checking and savings institution; * Only 28% were confident of the company that manages their investment or retirement accounts; and * Only 28% had confidence in their life insurance company.