BURSON-MARSTELLER GETS U.S. TREASURY AD ACCOUNT

$55 Million Effort to Promote Redesign of U.S. Money

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WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) -- The U.S. Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing said today it has awarded its five-year, $55 million advertising and public relations account to WPP Group's Burson-Marsteller, Washington.

The effort will promote the redesign of U.S. money in a campaign aimed at replacing all U.S. bills of $20 and higher starting as soon as fall of 2003.

Improve anti-counterfeiting
The redesign is aimed to improve anti-counterfeiting efforts.

The Treasury Department is planning to launch the bills, dubbed "NexGen," with a $20 note, followed by $50 and $100 bills in 2004 or later.

The redesigned bills will continue to use portraits and historical images, but have subtler colors the Treasury Department hopes -- together with already introduced watermarks and security threads -- will make counterfeiting more difficult.

The steps come as improvements in copying force the Treasury to continually redesign money to stay a step ahead of counterfeiters.

According to the U.S. Secret Service, $47.5 million in counterfeit money entered into circulation in fiscal year 2001. Of this amount, 39% was computer generated, compared with only 0.5% in 1995.

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