The fate of the AITC's 'its' campaign will be decided this week as the 8 June deadline for trusts to...
The fate of the AITC's 'its' campaign will be decided this week as the 8 June deadline for trusts to sign up to the trade body's future plans looms, writes Adam Lewis.
Director general Daniel Godfrey told Investment Week he was confident an intermediary awareness and education programme would be enthusiastically supported but the case for a consumer campaign was still in the balance.
The AITC is proposing a 0.5 basis point levy on total gross assets of each AITC member trust to fund a campaign to intermediaries, and a further basis point for a consumer campaign. This would involve press and poster marketing but not television.
He added: 'In the past, we have only looked for about 65% of the boards of all investment trusts to back us. We are now asking for everyone to support us as we no longer want to run the campaign on a divided basis.'
Boards of investment trusts are able to vote on the two issues separately. The AITC has said it wants an 'overwhelming majority' of trusts to vote in favour of each plan for it to put them into operation but the trade body said it did not have a fixed target.
The existing 'its' campaign comes to an end this summer. If the AITC's plans are accepted and all trusts contribute, the trade body estimates it will have £9m with £3m going for the intermediary awareness programme.
Andrew Watkins, head of investment trusts at Jupiter, said: 'Our boards are happy to pay the 0.5 basis point for the continuation of the adviser marketing awareness campaign, but there is a lot of evidence to suggest the consumer promotional campaign is not hitting the spot.
'This is not a reflection on Godfrey, it is a reflection on the creative teams who came up with the disappointing adverts, which have let him down.'
Watkins said popular opinion was that the first AITC campaign was an introduction but the second campaign with its TV advertising has been incomprehensible.
Watkins added: 'All of our trusts want to remain members of the AITC. In fact, Jupiter Dividend & Growth is going to apply to become a member but it has no intention of supporting the consumer campaign.'
Godfrey said even if the consumer campaign does not get the necessary funding, the industry has now got a base that the trusts themselves can build on. He said they are better placed because of the campaign than they were before.
Mike Connors, client director at JP Morgan Fleming Asset Management, said that now the TV campaign has been taken out of the equation, a lot of those who had not been in favour of a consumer marketing approach might change their minds.
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