CAs come to TV

Toronto-based chartered accountcy firm Arthur Andersen is believed to be the first firm of its kind to advertise on television.A series of five 75-second commercials, billed as 'Arthur Andersen's Focus on Business', began airing on Toronto-based cfto-tv in mid-February during news...

Toronto-based chartered accountcy firm Arthur Andersen is believed to be the first firm of its kind to advertise on television.

A series of five 75-second commercials, billed as ‘Arthur Andersen’s Focus on Business’, began airing on Toronto-based cfto-tv in mid-February during news programming.

Roy Fraser, Andersen’s director of marketing, says television advertising is a big departure for an industry that less than 10 years ago wasn’t advertising at all.

About seven years ago, small business card ads began to appear and now Andersen, like many other accountancy firms, traditionally advertises in trade and business publications and has some involvement in event sponsorship.

Fraser says, in the past, the general feeling in the industry was advertising cheapened the profession.

Today, accountancy advertising falls under a code of professional conduct that says that ads should be in good taste and not portray the accounting profession in a bad light. Specifically, one firm cannot claim to provide better service than another.

The commercials were created in-house by Andersen Telemedia, its video and graphics division.

In four of the spots, Andersen employees talk about specific services of the company such as those for small businesses and retail operations.

The fifth commercial features Bill Weldon, managing partner of the firm, describing what Andersen can do to help its clients succeed in uncertain times.

Andersen, the country`s sixth largest accountancy firm, has been operating in Canada for 33 years.