Equifax, Identity Theft Get the Hollywood Treatment

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Bank security officer Jack Stanfield has just learned from his co-star, credit reporting agency Equifax, that his identity has been stolen. Well, maybe co-star is a bit of a stretch, but the Equifax Personal Solutions Web site does share a few minutes of screen time with Harrison Ford, the actor playing Stanfield in the movie "Firewall," which opens Friday.

Warner Bros. approached Equifax a year ago, according to spokesman David Rubinger.

"They wanted to have Harrison Ford go to the Equifax Web site to pull up his credit report to confirm that in fact he has had his identity stolen," Rubinger said, adding that Equifax executives were thrilled that their brand was chosen and that its inclusion in the movie was not a paid placement.

Not only that, but Atlanta-based Equifax also shaped the movie's plot in terms of a realistic identity theft scenario that could be discovered through a credit report.

"Warner Bros. told us what the scenario was, and they actually had it a little wrong," Rubinger said. "Initially, they had a gambling debt showing up on the character's credit report when in reality that would not be something that is on a credit report. We suggested they make it a collections notice."

In the movie, Ford's character has designed one of the most effective anti-theft computer systems in the industry, but a team of mercenaries takes his family hostage in a scheme to steal $100 million from the bank and force him to find a breach in the system to siphon funds into his captor's offshore account.

Luckily, the Equifax scene survived the editing process, and now the company is doing some promotion of its credit monitoring services and the movie. Last week, it sent an e-mail blast to its Personal Solutions division's customers and e-mail newsletter subscribers, though the company declined to say how many it sent or whether any consumers have signed up for the services as a result.

Other initiatives include an online campaign targeting the mass market with 500 million impressions and an integrated radio campaign in target markets reaching 100 million listeners.

"We have conducted cross-promotions with the studio online at the Firewallthemovie.com Web site, and we are working with Warner Bros. field markets to provide them with promotional offers of our identity theft protection service, Equifax Credit Watch," Rubinger said.

Equifax also is in discussions with Warner Bros. about possible promotions tied to the movie's international release and the U.S. DVD release.

"Not only is it great for Equifax and our brand, but it really helps reinforce the importance of people checking their credit information to make sure they haven't had their identities stolen," Rubinger said.

A clip of Equifax's movie debut can be viewed at www.equifax.com.

Kristen Bremner covers list news, insert media, privacy and fundraising for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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