U.K. government campaign aims to stir businesses into preparing for Euro

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The Euro will be introduced into 11 of the 15 European Union member states on January 1, 1999 - but not the U.K.

The aim of this campaign is not to promote the euro itself but to urge the U.K.'s 4.5 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to think about how they will deal with its introduction to the first wave of countries. Research has found that very few SMEs are even aware of the euro's date of introduction within the EU or of how it might impact on them, and even fewer have done anything to prepare for it.

TBWA GGT Simons Palmer, London, won the advertising account at the end of June after a pitch against Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper and Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, both London. MediaVest, London, is handling media, which is concentrated on TV during September, followed by a mopping up operation in print and possibly radio in October.

The Treasury's euro preparations unit is distributing 1.6 million mailings through which SMEs can apply for a euro fact pack.

Creative in the advertising centers on a fictional SME manager, Martin Skinner, whose over-the-top approach to getting his business ready for the euro is expected to get the commercials noticed by the target audience. Seven commercials in the campaign will develop a storyline, throughout which Mr. Skinner delivers his business mantra: "Perfect Planning Prevents Pathetic performance."

Copyright September 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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