The General Insurance Standards Council suffered an embarrassing start in its bid to become the regulator for general insurance selling when its opening roadshow flopped.

Only 40 brokers, intermediaries and insurers attended the Glasgow event - which was the first of five national GISC roadshows intended to showcase its consultation document and woo the industry.

One broker, Denis Brown of Denis Brown Associates, condemned the lack of publicity for the roadshow as well as GISC's failure to issue its consultation document in advance.

"I knew there was going to be a roadshow in October from reading the trade press," he said. "But there was no circular issued and I had to phone last week to find out when and where."

Brown added that the GISC had made the same mistake as past attempts at self regulation in financial services, such as when FIMBRA failed to include enough public interest representatives on its 17-strong board. There are currently two.

"It (FIMBRA) was not seen to be independent, but was seen as part of a trade association," he said.

Chairman Anthony Howland Jackson explained the poor publicity was partly due to a problem with the printers.

He agreed there were too few consumer representatives on the board at present but said this balance was likely to shift a few years down the line once GISC was established.

GISC is intentionally over-represented by industry representatives in a bid to drum up numbers.

He opened the roadshow by saying the GISC needs industry support.

He added: "The proposals we have made are not tablets of stone. It is impossible for the GISC to be all things to all people.

"We will make mistakes but we will learn and we will remain flexible."