SWITCH ON the TV and you’ll see financial advertisements driving fear. For too long, South Africans were subjected to poor conduct practices and unfair treatment in the financial sector.
Conventional consumer protection laws were outdated and generic, offering inadequate protection. Fortunately, the financial sector has seen essential regulatory interventions and reforms, aiming to transform the industry by placing emphasis on integrity and consumer needs. These enhancements are resulting in an empowered, educated consumer who has become increasingly selective.
So why do so many financial institutions and service providers still underestimate consumers and build their marketing on exploiting fear?
LAW FOR ALL, a legal insurance brand with over 20 years’ experience, believes that it’s time for the financial sector to move away from this old approach to marketing, and to realise that exploiting fear has no place under a TCF (Treating Customers Fairly) framework.
According to Managing Director, Advocate Jackie Nagtegaal, financial institutions have an ethical obligation to make fair treatment central to their company culture.
This means avoiding exploitation of fear in their marketing at all costs. “Rather than choosing to sell fear, as many of our competitors do, our marketing strategy is built on our company’s culture of treating everyone with respect and dignity. It is important for us to display an understanding of the real unease and doubt that clients deal with when faced with a tough legal situation.”
Recently FANews, a financial and insurance magazine, launched a petition to remove an advertisement that drives fear by painting insurance claim assessors in an unfavourable light. The petition was successful in having the advertisement removed. According to FANews, “This type of advertising, which creates this negative perception about insurance, is exactly what the industry as a whole has been trying so hard to change. TCF is high on the agenda of all industry players.”
This ethical and responsible approach should be followed by all industry players, to enhance the image of the industry and realise the goals of TCF.
This fresh approach is evident in LAW FOR ALL’s new TV commercial, which simply, yet effectively tells the story of someone who receives tough legal news and is unsure of what to do and who to turn to.
The character’s own uncertainty, fear and doubt turns into a “niggle” that talks him through his situation and offers a solution. The message is softened by the use of world-class animation and given a truly South African feel. The commercial is supported by three branded News Clocks that air before the news, reminding audiences that LAW FOR ALL is there in tough times.
While many consumer centric improvements have been made in the financial sector, Nagtegaal believes there is still a lot to do but remains hopeful that all role players will become more responsible. “We are confident in our approach and hope to prove that a little caring, goes a long way”.