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Nielsen IAG: Ad Boosts by Financial Services Companies Could Keep Consumer Confidence

One thing financial services companies might think about doing with their government bailout money is putting it into advertising."

While companies like AIG have argued they need to pay big bonuses to executives to remain in business, a new study from Nielsen IAG suggests that a boost in advertising by financial service companies like banks, insurance companies and investment firms could help them keep the consumer confidence on which they rely for their business.

According to the study, 55% of respondents who said they had seen more advertising from their financial institution lately said they had "complete confidence" in its financial health, with only 18% saying they had "little or no confidence."

By contrast, 45% of respondents who said they had seen fewer ads said they had little or no confidence, with only 18% saying they had complete confidence.

"This research shows that ‘out of sight' can mean ‘out of business," said Richard Khaleel, executive VP of Nielsen IAG's financial practice.

Far less ad money has been out of wallet for the troubled sector. According to Nielsen, financial services spending in 4Q 2008 was down 29% from the previous fourth quarter, while insurance company spending was down 13%.

The survey was of 5,500 online respondents asked about the bank that holds their checking/savings account, investment and retirement accounts, and insurance.