Mackenzie Financial - Mackenzie Investments

Mackenzie Investments has decided to continue to run ads which state "Can you afford to keep your kids?"

The February 22, 2006 Toronto Star newspaper column by Ellen Roseman titles "Ad humour isn't always funny" reported that Mackenzie Investments pulled their advertisements with the slogan "Can you afford to keep your wife?" because of complains from women.

According to the Star, Mackenzie Investments will continue their ads with the slogans "Can you afford to keep your kids?" and the misandric slogan "Can you afford to keep your husband?"

The Canadian Children's Rights Council agrees with the many parents that have called us to express their views that these advertisement slogans are offensive.

Men and women face some very difficult and often disturbing choices when a woman becomes pregnant. Some must consider abortion or giving up their newborn child to be adopted because they are living in poverty and unable to financially provide for their child.

We urge you to express your complaints to:

Mackenzie Financial Corporation
150 Bloor St. W., Suite M111
Toronto, ON M5S 3B5

Phone: 1-800-387-0614 or 416-922-3217 in Toronto
Fax: 1-866-766-6623 or 416-922-5660 in Toronto

Ad humour isn't always funny

RRSP ad insensitive but talk-provoking

The Toronto Star, Canada's largest daily newspaper, by ELLEN ROSEMAN, Feb. 22, 2006

"Can you afford to keep your wife?" "Can you afford to keep your husband?" "Can you afford to keep your kids?"

These are the eye-catching headlines in an RRSP advertising campaign by Mackenzie Investments.

The ads talk about how easy it is for one family member to burn through income and ruin the household's retirement dreams.

But the campaign has offended some of Mackenzie's female investors, such as Mavis Urquhart.

"I find this advertisement inappropriate and foolish," Urquhart told me. "I'd like to know how a large established company (which I am sure has many female investors who are not `kept' whatever that means) could possibly show such bad judgment."

As a result, Mackenzie is no longer running the ad headlined "Can you afford to keep your wife?" while continuing to run the other two ads,

RRSP advertisers tread a delicate tightrope. They have to create concern about long-term saving, while not turning off potential customers.

As this story shows, companies can run into trouble by throwing humour into the mix.

Here is Mackenzie's response to Urquhart's complaint, plus comments from marketing specialists in the academic world and my own take on the ads.

Valerie Shaw, marketing vice-president, Mackenzie Investments: In research conducted by our company in the fall of 2005, 60 per cent of Canadians stated they were not saving enough for their retirement. In 2005, the Canadian savings rate went negative for the first time in recent memory (from positive 12 per cent only 13 years earlier). For the 2004 tax year, in aggregate Canadians used only 8 per cent of total earned RRSP room.

As a firm close to Canadians' retirement planning, we are growing increasingly alarmed at what we see as a looming crisis. Our "Can you afford ... ?" campaign headlines featuring husbands, wives, kids and Read More simply the doorway to the discussion of spending, savings and the choices people make in their financial planning.

While I appreciate your concerns, Canadians across the country, in our pre-program research and since the campaign began, have repeatedly stated that these messages are real and important.

The slight "tongue-in-cheek" tone of the series has no doubt brought many Read More ..aders to the core messages of the campaign and that is the goal.

We have no plans to run this ad again.

Mandeep Malik, De Groote School of Business, McMaster University: The dilemma advertisers constantly face is, "How do we get consumer attention in an overcrowded, over-managed, over-messaged marketplace?" Often agencies become "creative" and resort to attention-grabbing headlines sometimes making poor judgments along the way, and, as in this case, hurting the values of the very consumers they were trying to attract.

It's interesting that a financial institution wouldn't have thought about the repercussions of this ad while developing it. Withdrawing it now makes me question the decision they made and how it was made.

When we as consumers take our money to institutions, we're doing so because they generated trust and showed us they're responsible and will make good judgments about where to invest our money for the best return. Such "perceived as irresponsible" advertising creates consumer mistrust around the values of the seller.

And while such advertising creates chatter about the advertising, it's not necessarily positive chatter. Read More ..portantly, it's not about the attributes of Mackenzie's products and services or competitive advantages.

So, in essence, the company may not be heading toward its goals.

Richard Powers, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto: The media are flooded with RRSP ads. Companies must recognize this is a very serious decision for customers and they have to be serious, too.

Tongue in cheek just doesn't cut it with the demographic they're after. Trying to throw some fluff into it doesn't work.

The exception to the rule is when you're trying to differentiate yourself in the marketplace. Nevertheless, people want to feel their money is handled in a serious manner.

Ellen Roseman, Star columnist and Mackenzie investor: I don't like "the latte factor," an idea put forward by U.S. author David Bach that you can retire rich simply by skipping your daily coffee. It's too simple.

Mackenzie's campaign builds on this theme, asking you to focus on what you and your family are spending for lifestyle purchases. There's a Burn Rate calculator, which quantifies the results if you stop burning through cash and start saving for the future.

Stereotypes tend to creep in when financial advertisers talk about money wasted by family members (golf clubs for him, Oriental carpets for her, cafeteria lunches for the kids).

They run the risk of turning off their target market, or making potential customers feel guilty and resentful.

I agree Mackenzie showed insensitivity with this headline. But it did get noticed and provoked enough interest to generate this column.

Paternity Fraud
UK National Survey

Paternity fraud survey statistics

Scotland's National Newspaper

96% of women are liars, honest

5,000 women polled

Half the women said that if they became pregnant by another man but wanted to stay with their partner, they would lie about the baby's real father.

Forty-two per cent would lie about contraception in order to get pregnant, no matter the wishes of their partner.

Infidelity Causes Paternity Fraud

Time magazine - Infidelity - It may be in our genes. Our Cheating Hearts

Infidelity--It may be in our genes. Our Cheating Hearts

Devotion and betrayal, marriage and divorce: how evolution shaped human love.

South Korean Husband Win Paternity Fraud Lawsuit - Associated Press

South Korean Husband Wins Paternity Fraud Lawsuit

Associated Press, USA
June 1, 2004

South Korean husband successfully sues wife for Paternity Fraud and gets marriage annulled.  Wins $42,380 in compensation

Paternity Fraud Philippines

DNA paternity test confirms fraud, annulment granted: judge | Visayan Daily Star Newspaper | Phillipines

DNA test confirms fraud, annulment granted: judge

The Visayan Daily Star, Bacolod City, Philippines, BY CARLA GOMEZ, February 28, 2009

Bacolod Regional Trial Court Judge Ray Alan Drilon has annulled the marriage of a Negrense couple after a DNA test showed that the child borne by the wife was not the biological offspring of the husband who works abroad.

The family court judge ruled that the marriage of the couple, whose names are being withheld by the DAILY STAR on the request of the court, was null and void.

Due to fraud committed by the wife in getting her overseas worker husband to marry her, properties acquired during their marriage are awarded in favor of the husband, the judge said in his decision, a copy of which was furnished the DAILY STAR yesterday.

The judge also declared that since the overseas worker is not the biological, much less the legitimate father of the child of the woman, the Civil Registrar is ordered to change the surname of the child to the mother's maiden name and remove the name of the plaintiff as father of the child.

The complainant said he was working as an electronics engineer in the United Arab Emirates and on his return to the Philippines in 2001, his girlfriend of 10 years with whom he had sex, showed him a pregnancy test result showing that she was pregnant.

On receiving the news he was overjoyed and offered to marry her. Shortly after he went to Saudi Arabia to work, and his wife gave birth to a baby girl in the same year.

The birth of the child only five months after their marriage puzzled him but his wife told him that the baby was born prematurely, so he believed her, the husband said. Read More ..

Paternity Fraud - Spain Supreme Court - Civil Damages

Daily Mail UK

Adulterous woman ordered to pay husband £177,000 in 'moral damages'

The Daily Mail, UK
18th February 2009

An adulterous Spanish woman who conceived three children with her lover has been ordered to pay £177,000 in 'moral damages' to her husband.

The cuckolded man had believed that the three children were his until a DNA test eventually proved they were fathered by another man.

The husband, who along with the other man cannot be named for legal reasons to protect the children's identities, suspected his second wife may have been unfaithful in 2001.

BBC logo

Infidelity 'is natural'

BBC, U.K., September 25, 1998

Females 'stray to gather the best possible genes for their offspring'

Infidelity may be natural according to studies that show nine out of 10 mammals and birds that mate for life are unfaithful.

Experts found animals that fool around are only following the urges of biology.

New studies using genetic testing techniques show that even the most apparently devoted of partners often go in search of the sexual company of strangers.

Females stray to gather the best possible genes for their offspring, while males are driven to father as many and as often as possible.

"True monogamy actually is rare," said Stephen T Emlen, an expert on evolutionary behaviour at Cornell University.

Paternity Fraud & the Criminal Code of Canada

Paternity fraud: Is it or should it be a criminal offence under the Criminal Code of Canada?

You be the judge.

A Quote Worth Remembering

"We must vigilantly stand on guard within our own borders for human rights and fundamental freedoms which are our proud heritage......we cannot take for granted the continuance and maintenance of those rights and freedoms."

John Diefenbaker