In times like this, it’s still crucial for financial institutions to advertise to boomers.

Year-over-year ad spending on financial services and insurance was down 13.4 percent in 2008, according to Nielsen IAG. Fifty-five percent of people who have seen more advertising for their financial institution say they have “complete confidence” in the financial health and soundness of their financial company. And older adults – those age 55 and over with assets of more than $100,000 – are more confident than the average.

Overall, insurance companies and investment firms are getting a worse rap than banks – only 28 percent say they’re confident with those companies; 10 percent more (38 percent) say they’re confident in their checking and savings bank.

“This research shows that ‘out of sight’ can mean ‘out of business,” said Richard Khaleel, EVP of Nielsen IAG’s Financial practice in a statement. “The current economic climate makes it more important than ever for financial institutions to bolster confidence among their clients and this study clearly demonstrates the link between advertising and confidence levels. With constant scrutiny on the industry it’s clear that taking control of the message in advertising and press can make all the difference for a brand.”