Failing to practice what they preach, British investment trusts have axed a long-running cooperative multi-million pound consumer advertising campaign.

The Association of Investment Trust Companies has bowed to pressure from a number of its members and ended the “Its” campaign which has run on TV and in newspapers since October 1999. In its first two years, around two-thirds of members supported the initiative, raising £24m ($33.5m) to fund generic advertising and marketing. activity.

AITC director general Daniel Godfrey, who staked his reputation [and job?] on the campaign’s success, conceded that members’ support had become increasingly lukewarm. “I'm only too painfully aware that it has been controversial in the industry," he said, "but I won't make any apologies for it. It has got people's attention and has been effective in raising the profile of trusts.”

At least one onlooker agreed. Opined Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein investment trust analyst Robbie Robertson: “Since the campaign began, discount narrowing has created over £5bn in shareholder value.”

But trusts are harder to convince than entrail-rakers. According to a poll, only 40% of trusts supported continuation of the consumer campaign, although almost 90% have agreed to a smaller levy to fund a marketing drive aimed at institutional and professional investors.

News source: Financial Times