APACS account moves in-house

The Association for Payment Clearing Services is to take its pounds 1.5 million anti-credit card fraud account, currently run by Paragon Communications, in-house.

The Association for Payment Clearing Services is to take its pounds

1.5 million anti-credit card fraud account, currently run by Paragon

Communications, in-house.



The Association, known as APACS, oversees money transfers and manages

the payment clearing system in the UK for the major banks and remaining

building societies.



Paragon won the account to handle APACS’ anti-credit and debit card

fraud campaign in 1992 from incumbent Hill and Knowlton. The agency

launched the Card Watch campaign, aimed at retailers, cardholders and

opinion formers such as the police, magistrates and judges.



In 1995 the agency held onto the work after a competitive pitch against

Dewe Rogerson and Hill and Knowlton. It was appointed for three years

with annual fees of over pounds 200,000 and a maximum budget of pounds

500,000 a year.



Paragon will continue handling the account until the end of January.



Katy Silcock and John McVitie, both communications executives for card

services at APACS, will now run the account in-house.



Silcock said the emphasis of the campaign was changing from a public

education campaign aimed at the UK’s 97 million cardholders to targeting

retailers and the police.



APACS feels it is ready to handle the work in-house now. ’We’ve learnt

quite a lot over the last five years,’ said Silcock. She stressed that

the association was ’delighted’ with Paragon’s work. The agency may

continue to handle project work for APACS.



When the agency was hired in 1992, pounds 165 million was lost a year on

credit card fraud. By 1995 the amount had dropped to pounds 83

million.



Silcock reports to Eryl Thomas, head of card services. Her

responsibilities include communication on issues including fraud, cash

machines and the year 2000 IT bug.



APACS retains Sector PR for corporate communications. The agency is

handling its chip card campaign launch. Chip cards, which are intended

to replace magnetic cards, are now being piloted in Northampton and

Dunfermline with 600 retailers.



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