CAMPAIGNS: Research on fraud boosts Experian's PR - B2B/B2C

Experian is a credit rating and marketing services provider. Last year, it set about raising awareness of its fraud prevention systems among retail finance houses.

Positioning itself as a consumer champion, Experian latched on to the growing phenomenon of card-not-present fraud and identity theft, whereby fraudsters obtain the information needed to purchase items online, over the phone, by direct mail or even, take over a bank account. This crime is commonly committed by riffling through domestic refuse bins.

Objectives

To make businesses and consumers aware that Experian is more that just a credit rating firm and establish the firm as a fraud prevention expert.

Strategy and Plan

Experian commissioned independent waste analysis firm Mel Research to establish the extent of the bin-raiding problem in the UK. A survey of 71 local authorities revealed that 75 per cent were aware of the problem, with 81 per cent saying that bin raiding was on the increase.

To quantify the risk among consumers, Mel secured the agreement of Nottingham City Council and the police, to analyse the contents of 400 domestic refuse bins. Filmed by BBC1's Hard Cash, this revealed that one in five bins contained enough financial information to commit card-not-present fraud or identify theft, rising to two in five bins in affluent areas.

The findings and Experian's solutions were collated into a white paper, 'Lifting the Lid Off Identity Theft', which was mailed to existing clients and made available on the company website.

Measurement and Evaluation

With guaranteed exposure from Hard Cash on 13 March, Experian timed its press releases to hit newsdesks three days in advance. This resulted in coverage from The Financial Times, articles in the Sunday broadsheets, with the broad swathe of media coverage on 13 March, from all the nationals, plus Radio 5 Live, GMTV, ITN and BBC TV News.

Results

Experian claims that hits to its website increased almost seven-fold during the campaign, while sales enquiries also rose (with data on sales enquiries still being collated).

More significantly perhaps, media coverage suggests that Experian took a greater presence in the fraud prevention debate.

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