I was interested to read your article regarding "image conscious ABI" (7 August, Insurance Times) and the fact that they had employed a PR company unfamiliar with the industry. While I am not anti-PR, indeed I work closely with a industry-familiar company, I would have expected the ABI, as a large and well funded trade association, to perform a research exercise of their own amongst their members first. Many insurance companies have their own PR and marketing sections and it would seem sensible, and cost-effective, for members to share any research they may have performed along the same lines.

However, one also questions why use a PR company at all when most managers already know that insurance suffers due to the public's perception of high premium and poor claims service. It is these two areas that require attention, in the first case to explain better how premiums are calculated and in the second to actually improve the service.

I am aware of other parties' interest in the image our market has and the ABI may wish to get together with other lobbying groups and associations before they spend too much money on something they may feel they have already "quoted the public happy on".

Leslie-Ann Giovnilli
AMS (Re) Services