Massive Mailing on New Currency to Blanket Europe

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A 200 million-piece mail campaign will be part of the public information drive launching this month to precede the release of the new paper-and-coin version of the European Union's currency, the euro.


The eight-page brochures are set to drop in October to every household in the 12 European Union states that have decided to use the euro. The brochure, designed by international marketing agency Publicis, aims to reach 300 million consumers.


The overall marketing effort for the euro paper release begins this month with print and television ads. The brochure will be important in the $73 million euro campaign as it gives consumers a durable reference point for information about the new paper currency, said Antoine Bourdeix, public relations consultant at Publicis, Paris.


"You need to see visuals and to see the bank notes," Bourdeix said. "A brochure is something that enables you to keep visuals of the bank notes and coins."


The brochure has been printed in 11 languages used by European Union nations and in another 23 languages of non-EU nations for use by those who do business with or visit member nations. It is being distributed by the national banks of EU member nations and by the European Central Bank's 2,700 business partners worldwide, including companies in the banking, travel and retail industries.


The brochure features the euro campaign slogan, "the EURO. OUR money," prominently on the cover. Inside, it contains information on exchanging national currency for the euro, a timeline of events leading to the paper currency's release, information about security features built into the currency and a map of the countries in which the euro will be used.


The brochure also contains detailed pictures of different euro bills and coins to familiarize consumers with the currency. Images of the new paper currency were not made available until Aug. 31 and were kept under tight wraps before then.


The marketing campaign will give most European consumers their first glimpse of the currency, even though it has been accepted online for about two years. Euro bank notes are not scheduled to go into circulation until Jan. 1.


Fears of giving counterfeiters a head start led to strict security measures by the European Central Bank. Therefore, the Publicis brochures had to be printed under special security arrangements, Bourdeix said.


In the TV and print campaign, a series of eight print ads and five TV spots will run in three waves until the first few weeks of 2002. The ads will appear in all 12 participating nations on selected international media outlets, Publicis said.


Each wave of the campaign will focus on a different topic, such as the currency's security features. The central bank also has a Web site, www.euro.ecb.int, to provide media and public information about the currency launch.


Seven million posters containing information on the euro are being distributed to EU schools attended by children ages 8-12. Children can enter a contest by filling out a multiple-choice questionnaire, available on the posters and the central bank's euro Web site. Entrants can become one of 24 winners to be invited to Frankfurt, Germany, for a celebration of the euro's release.


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