Canadian mutual fund companies cut back drastically on their advertising expenditures in 2004, shelling out a mere $11 million (C$13.5 million), down 80% from $55 million (C$67.3 million) in 2000, the Canadian Press reports.

With those cutbacks come far tamer messages, mostly directed at financial planners, consultants and brokers through print advertisements in the trade press, rather than individual investors.

Ads at the end of the bull market in Canada showed such flippant and ebullient images as jockeys jumping from one horse to another. Some urged investors to salt away at least $1 million for retirement, and many promoted the slick investment schemes of individual products.

But the messages in 2004 were far more down to earth, focusing on such tried-and-true themes as diversification, long-term investing and active management.

AIM Funds Management, for instance, is running decidedly somber billboards in major Canadian cities. They picture a grey-haired executive with the tagline: "Visionary? Puppet? Knowing Pays."

Doug Checkeris, managing partner of Media Company of Toronto, characterized the year's campaigns as "disciplined and tactical."

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The staff of Money Management Executive ("MME") has prepared these capsule summaries based on reports published by the news sources to which they are attributed. Those news sources are not associated with MME, and have not prepared, sponsored, endorsed, or approved these summaries.

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