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‘Perception Correction’ fails to garner enough support

The fight is over for the team of advisers behind a social media and crowdfunding campaign who failed to raise enough money in their effort to restore the advice industry's reputation.

The 'Positivity for Planners' campaign set out to raise $100,000 in 60 days for the creation of videos, blogs and other professionally-made content as a way to bring financial planning success stories to the wider public.

However, only $25,000 had been raised by today's crowdfunding deadline and the money is only deducted if the target is met, said the campaign's leader, Melinda Houghton of AON Hewitt-authorised rep firm Houghton Strategic Solutions.

"The financial planning community is actually even more fragmented and divided than I thought, with feedback given to us showing that the majority of planners are still sitting in their own little bubbles of what they do, without much of a sense of community or team happening, and no wish to promote the profession in case it affects themselves," she said.

"We think we got the reach that we needed; there's just clearly not enough support."

After Ms Houghton announced the campaign's less-than-stellar status, Baz Gardner, founder of financial planning consultancy The Social Adviser, sent out a mass email urging advisers to step up before time was up.

"So much is said about the public perception of financial advice and financial planning and yet planners themselves leave it to their licensees, to the media, to regulators to spread the message of what real advice does for people. Right now, there's a real but fleeting opportunity, and there's only a day left for you to be able to say that its failure was not because of your own apathy," he said.


"How is your conscience going to feel? Are you going to be part of letting this fail?" he said.

While the email prompted thousands of more pledges, it was not enough to save the campaign, Ms Houghton said.

She added that there are no short-term plans to relaunch the crowdfunding aspect of the campaign. However, the hashtag #PerceptionCorrection will still be used on social media to highlight positivity within the industry.

"The people on the committee are running their own practices and we can't afford to stop and start again for something that may or may not work," she said.

"[The crowdfunding aspect] is over, but the positive message will continue."