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Press Release

New Ads from CFP Board Go “Extreme”

February 17, 2015

Creative concept features daredevil sports and activities to underscore message of working with the highest standard in personal financial advice – CFP® certification

While there are people who willingly swim with sharks, walk a tightrope over canyons and participate in motocross, not even these extreme experience enthusiasts put their finances at risk by working with an advisor who doesn’t have the highest standard in financial advice – the CFP® certification – according to new advertising from Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.

“The message of the ads is simple: while some may enjoy the thrill of extreme hobbies, no one should take chances with their hard-earned money,” said Kevin R. Keller, CFP Board’s Chief Executive Officer. “Instead, look for the highest standard in financial advice by finding a CFP® professional who will help develop a financial plan that allows you the confidence and freedom to achieve your goals, whether that’s a comfortable retirement or trekking to the top of the highest mountain.”

The advertising, marketing and public relations campaign includes a mix of television, print and online advertising appearing in national outlets, as well as sponsorship messages on National Public Radio. The online and print ads join last year’s “DJ” television ad in the latest creative execution of CFP Board’s Public Awareness Campaign, which has already generated significant increases in consumers’ awareness of CFP® certification and the value of working with CFP® professionals.

Now in its fifth year, the Public Awareness Campaign saw a 6 percentage point increase in unaided awareness among the target audience known as the “mass affluent initiator” in 2014, according to a brand tracking study conducted by IPSOS. Since the campaign began in 2011, there has been a 13 percentage point increase – going from 17 to 30 percent – in unaided awareness among the target audience.

Online ads are featured on popular websites such as The Atlantic, NBC Sports and Digital Trends, and print ads appear in publications such as Financial Times, MORE and Kiplinger’s. The television and radio advertising will run in the spring and fall while online and print advertising will run through all of 2015.

“CFP® certification is the highest standard in personal financial advice,” said Keller. “We want consumers to look for this mark of excellence and know that CFP® professionals have the expertise, knowledge and ethics to help them fulfill their dreams and secure their financial futures.”

The underlying creative concept behind the advertising, which comes from Arnold Worldwide, Inc., graphically illustrates why it is so important for consumers to choose a CFP® professional when seeking a financial advisor.

The television advertising features consumers accepting financial advice from an individual who appears and acts like a financial advisor, yet has no qualifications to provide financial advice. “If they’re not a CFP® pro, you just don’t know,” the spot concludes, urging consumers to visit
LetsMakeaPlan.org to seek out the highest standard and find a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional who is thoroughly vetted.

The new online and prints ads extend this concept, reminding consumers that even those who participate in extreme sports and activities wouldn’t dare work with someone who hasn’t met the rigorous requirements of the CFP® certification.

In addition to the advertising, CFP Board has refreshed its popular website, www.LetsMakeaPlan.org, with more helpful “news you can use” information; expert articles by CFP Board Consumer Advocate Eleanor Blayney, CFP® and CFP Board Ambassadors; an enhanced tool that allows people to search for and connect with a CFP® professional in their area; and a Facebook page just for consumers.

CFP® professionals have access to the new ads and other resources for raising awareness of the CFP® certification through a toolkit available on www.CFP.net.