The Austrian government is to launch a pounds 500,000 public
relations campaign aimed at boosting flagging support for the single
The Ministry of Finance has issued a call for tenders from PR agencies
to manage a 12-month campaign to explain the concept and benefits of
European monetary union (EMU). Five agencies will be shortlisted and the
selected adviser will start work in September.
Details of the campaign remain unclear, although it is understood that
the finance ministry expects the winning agency to come up with a
general strategy to promote the Euro and to tailor it to different
audiences, including consumers, trade unions and businesses.
One of the European Union’s newest members, Austria is set to join the
first wave of EMU membership in 1999. Public support for the Euro is,
however, running at an all time low.
A recent survey showed that 64 per cent of Austrians are opposed to the
single currency while Chancellor Viktor Klima has warned of ’serious
danger’ if the timetable for monetary union slips back.
The wave of pessimism coincides with the resignation last month of the
government’s chief Euro campaigner Gustav Raab. Former head of the
Association of Austrian Savings Banks, Raab quit after just three weeks
in the job, amid allegations that he followed the European Commission’s
line too closely.
PR sources suggest that the government believes a privately-owned agency
would be less susceptible to Brussels’ influence.