Visa encourages russians to use plastic

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MOSCOW--Visa International is launching an advertising campaign to encourage Russian cardholders and shops to renew operations with plastic cards.

"(The aim) is to encourage 1.5 million Visa and Via Electron cardholders to resume their transactions," says Karina Grosheva, marketing manager at Berson-Marsteller, Visa's PR agency in Russia.Since the financial crisis last August, most Russian card holders have stopped using plastic and many shops (have) refused to accept payment by electronic instruments."

Creative and media buying is being handled by Visa in-house. The marketing budget was not disclosed.

Called "You'll be lucky with Visa", the campaign breaks this month and will continue until the autumn. Two campaigns will run at the same time, one aimed at the cardholder, the other at the 13,000 retail outlets that accept plastic.

Visa cardholders will be invited to enter a daily lottery where they can win a 90% discount on card purchases over $500. Other prizes include trips to Western Europe.

In the second campaign, owners of shops with the highest Visa transaction record will win trips to Turkey.

The promotional burst will be supported by a print campaign in leading Russian publications, including the business daily Kommersant (circulation: 117,000), other dailies, Argumenty i facty and Moskovsky Komsomolets newspapers and weekly publications such as TV-Park.

Copyright June 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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