Ark Funds, the proprietary funds of Allfirst Bank of Baltimore, Md. is hoping consumers' love of the family dog will allow its billboard advertising campaign to change their perceptions about mutual fund investing, according to Michael Mattingly, Ark Funds' marketing manager.

The firm wants investors to associate Ark mutual funds and the bank representatives that sell them with the feelings they have toward their own pets, said Mattingly. "I think people are overwhelmed by investing and they are scared to sit down and talk with someone about it," she said. "We wanted to demystify investing." The family dog accomplishes that goal and conveys a message of approachability, trustworthiness and reliability, she said.

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