JWT joins final shortlist for $30 million-50 million Euro task

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PARIS--J. Walter Thompson Co. has joined the final pitch for the European Central Bank's (ECB) $30 million-to-$50 million account to explain the new euro currency in the European Union and in Eastern Europe.

JWT, alongside its WPP Group-owned partner, PR network Hill & Knowlton, made final presentations to the ECB in competition with PublicisConseil/Publicis Consultants, and Young & Rubicam/Burston Marsteller, according to a spokeswoman at JWT, Paris.

The original shortlist included only Publicis and Y&R, with a final decision expected in September. A final decision is now expected in November.

There was no lead country in the JWT presentation, according to the JWT spokeswoman.

The winning agency will handle a two-year information campaign anticipating the launch of banknotes and coins of the single European currency on Jan. 1, 2002.

The euro became the official banking currency of 11 European Union nations -- Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Spain -- on Jan. 1, 1999. Greece and Portugal failed to meet the strict economic criteria to join the currency group, while Sweden and the U. K. opted not to join during the initial launch period.

Copyright October 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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