Publicis and Optimedia have been assigned the job of preparing
almost 300 million people across Europe for the introduction of euro
notes and coins in two years’ time.
The European Central Bank has picked the two networks for the task,
which is expected to be backed by a budget of more than pounds 30
million over the next three years.
The pair pitched together and were chosen after a three-way contest
involving Young & Rubicam and J. Walter Thompson, which pitched
alongside their respective PR associates, Burson Marsteller and Hill &
It remains undecided whether the campaign will extend to the UK although
the country’s status as one of Europe’s most important financial markets
makes its inclusion likely.
Joanna Baldwin, the Publicis London-based vice-president for
international development, led the pitch, which took nine months as a
list of 40 contenders was pared down.
The ECB’s brief is to prepare the European public for the euro’s
introduction in January 2002 and to ensure that the currency is well
received. The media task is to ensure that 100 per cent of the European
population see the campaign.
The campaign will help people recognise the notes and coins as well as
educating bank and shop staff on how to examine the notes in order to
spot possible fakes.
Publicis assembled a 100-strong task force which carried out research in
19 countries in preparation for the task, described as ’one of the most
exciting communications challenges imaginable’ by Maurice Levy, the
Baldwin said the research had revealed that some countries, such as
Italy and Greece, were more supportive of the euro than Germany, where
people were much less sure about it.’It means that we will have to vary
the message and the budget from country to country,’ she added.