Treasury Selects B-M to Introduce New Bills
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Treasury Selects B-M to Introduce New Bills

Burson-Marsteller has been selected to lead an effort that will include nine other Young & Rubicam and WPP Group companies as they help launch the so-called NextGen U.S. currency.

Paul Holmes

NEW YORK—Burson-Marsteller has been selected to lead an effort that will include nine other Young & Rubicam and WPP Group companies as they help launch the so-called NextGen U.S. currency. The account is worth $55 million over five years, and the B-M team beat out competitors including APCO Worldwide, Edelman Public Relations, Fleishman-Hillard, Porter Novelli and Weber Shandwick Worldwide for the assignment.
 
The primary challenge will be introducing the currency in overseas markets, while maintaining confidence in the dollar. The public education effort will also include communicating with target audiences in financial institutions, law enforcement, and the retail sector, to encourage people who use U.S. currency to familiarize themselves with the redesigned money so they can easily authenticate it.
 
Burson-Marsteller worked on the introduction of the last generation of new currency, including the redesigned $20 bill.
 
The new currency will include new $100, $50, and $20 notes. The NexGen notes will remain the same size and use similar portraits and historical images , but will include the introduction of subtle background colors. While color is not in itself a security feature, the use of color provides the opportunity to add additional features that could assist in deterring counterfeiting.
 
The purpose of the currency redesign is to stay ahead of advanced computer technologies used for some types of counterfeiting. According to the U.S. Secret Service, $47.5 million in counterfeit money entered into circulation in fiscal year 2001. Of this amount, 39 percent was computer generated, compared with only 0.5 percent in 1995.
 
Burson-Marsteller and Marsteller Advertising will manage the overall campaign and provide program design, media relations, retailer outreach, crisis communications, web sites, advertising, and collateral materials. Landor will provide brand consulting and identity design; B-M’s Direct Impact will build a database and outreach program to 25,000 retailers, banks, and small businesses; and The Bravo Group, Kang & Lee, and African-American WPP specialist agency UniWorld will join the Media Edge in planning and buying advertising to reach targeted audiences. WPP’s Penn Schoen & Berland will provide all research services.
“In many respects, the U.S. dollar is the world’s most recognized, most accepted and most trusted brand—the true currency of global commerce,” says Young & Rubicam chief executive Mike Dolan. “Introducing the new changes while maintaining strong confidence in the dollar will require one of the largest and most sophisticated global communications efforts ever undertaken.”
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