PR WEEK: Diary; The number is up for NatWest phone cards

Think carefully before dishing out those company-branded PR freebies to journalists - you may have a mini gold-mine on your hands.

Think carefully before dishing out those company-branded PR freebies to

journalists - you may have a mini gold-mine on your hands.



NatWest UK head of PR, Paul Lockstone, was surprised to get a call from

the indispensible Phone Card Collector, which wanted to get hold of the

bank’s personalised BT cards.



Lockstone suspected a prank, but was assured by the excited caller that

he was in possession of valuable items.



Apparently the bank’s black plastic number is one of the first cards to

feature a newfangled chip mechanism instead of the old metallic strip.



The caller was, in Lockstone’s words, ‘salivating’ when told that only

1,000 cards had been produced.



BT’s phonecard media relations manager, Les King, assures me that this

is the ‘modern version of stamp collecting’ and that rare cards can be

worth around pounds 3,000, with a recent Taiwanese card fetching a

whopping pounds 28,000.



Well, I’ve got two going spare, and a holiday to pay for, and if there

are any interested bidders... (Sorry Paul but these are hard times).



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