Spend boost for Moneysupermarket

Price comparison site Moneysupermarket.com says that an increased marketing spend has helped sales grow year-on-year by 20%, as it steps up its attack on rivals GoCompare, Confused and Comparethemarket.
The company is set to reveal its full-year results in February and is expected to announce that sales have risen to £178m (2010: £148.9m).
This includes a 19% rise in revenues in the final quarter of 2011,”supported by higher levels of marketing spend” and after demand for insurance and other products remained strong until the end of the year.
Moneysupermarket sponsored Britain’s Got Talent in 2011 and moved away from its Omid Djalili-fronted TV campaigns, with a new focus on “ordinary consumers”, including “family man Geoff” (pictured).
Created by London agency, Mother, the ads are designed to promote the “euphoria” that people feel when they save money. The marketing spend has continued into this financial year, with the company investing in its “broadest ever” campaign – promoting all its products – filmed in Las Vegas.
But price comparison sites have also courted controversy over the past 12 months, following a Financial Services Authority investigation as well as concerns over how trustworthy they are when handling customer data.
The FSA wrote to all operators which direct web users to home and car insurance providers after it found some websites were leading customers to inappropriate insurance deals. It found “failures to comply with our rules which could result in consumers not being treated fairly”.
Companies must have FSA permission to provide financial advice, but some price comparison website activity could amount to a regulated activity, it has warned.
In addition, The Financial Services Report, commissioned by The REaD Group, found that price comparison websites were among the least trusted when it comes to handling customer marketing data, which showed only credit card firms and lenders have a worse record.

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