THIS WEEK’S BIG QUESTION: Will the design of the euro affect the UK public’s decision to adopt it?

The European Central Bank has announced that the euro will carry no national symbols

The European Central Bank has announced that the euro will carry no

national symbols

Stephen Hoffman Womersley

De La Rue

’Introducing new banknotes is always an emotive issue. That we should

want an easily recognisable face makes sense because faces, rather than

objects, on banknotes are the most instantly recognisable feature. But

then monarchs have only been on our banknotes since 1960 so whether it

is the Queen or not, it really shouldn’t matter.’

Catherine Morris

Red Rooster PR

’People will resist it because they don’t like to see old traditions

die. We have a Walt Disney concept of tradition in the UK, symbolised by

the olde worlde country pub, cottages and thatched roofs. But most

people don’t have that, you can only buy a time share in it. As a

consequence young people in particular are not emotionally attached to

tradition. There is always something better to replace it.’

Joy King

Eastern Group

’We will have the usual debate we have with new currency, everybody will

hate it, it will resound within the press and then the controversy will

die down. Everybody hated the fifty pence coin and everyone thought the

pounds 1 coin would wear a hole in their pockets. Now they are accepted

currency. People just get on with life, there are more important


Lee Coomber

Wolff Olins

’The problem with the money is that it is bland. It needs something that

you can have an emotional response to, like football. It is about

belonging to something which is better and making people feel it is

theirs. You can never feel great about someone else’s head of state but

you can feel great about something which is public property.’

Charles Lewington

Media Strategy

’The design of the euro brilliantly serves the purposes of the EMU’s

creators. The note is utterly faceless and all trace of national

symbolism has been removed with Orwellian ruthlessness. The first wave

of participating countries won’t bat an eyelid because they are not

sentimental about their national currencies. We can foam at the mouth as

much as we like about our absent sovereign, but I don’t believe that the

British would vote to join EMU even if the whole Royal Family was

pictured on the note.’

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