Silly as they may be, those TV ads from the CFP Board showing a disc jockey posing as a financial planner appear to be working.
Although some critics think the ad campaign trivializes the profession, “most people like it,” said Kevin Keller, CFP Board chief executive.
The board has tracked the effectiveness by measuring the “unaided awareness” of the CFP mark among a target audience of mass affluent individuals, Keller said Thursday at the spring meeting of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (Napfa) in San Diego.
Awareness was 17 percent in 2011, but rose to 30 percent last year.
CFP holders pay about $145 a year for the $10 million campaign, Keller said.
Additionally, the CFP Board is working with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to create a tool to help consumers see what’s behind various designations, some of which don’t amount to much, Keller said.
The board has urged the CFPB to pay particular attention to senior designations.
CFP board Chairman Rich Rojeck, managing director at Sagemark Consulting in La Jolla, Calif., updated Napfa attendees on the new computer-based CFP exam program, which was rolled out last fall.
The system makes it easier to administer the CFP exams, which now take six hours instead of 10, Rojeck said. Exam takers have more choice in times and test-center locations of the exams, and can get their unofficial results instantly, he said. Results so far show that pass rates are roughly in line with the old paper tests and that the new format may encourage more applicants to take the test.
Results of an in-depth job analysis study will be incorporated into CFP exam content next year.