WINNER - Barclaycard, Value of Time, Lexis PR

Barclaycard asked Lexis PR to step in and make its credit card friendly and modern to a broad audience, because it was worried that the card was perceived as tired and expensive. With the further objective of driving traffic to Barclaycard's website, to increase online account management and card applications, Lexis decided to shift the credit card off the personal finance pages and on to the news and consumer media agenda.

The PR team commissioned a survey asking people what they would buy, if they had all the money in the world, to demonstrate that Barclaycard understands how consumers like to spend.

With 80 per cent of respondents saying they would buy more time, Lexis asked Professor Walker of the University of Warwick to investigate the value of time and devise a simple formula to measure how to get the best possible value from every minute of the day. This formula was published with a DIY calculator on a specially-created Barclaycard microsite and, within hours, the media were weighing up the cost of cooking versus a take-away and washing the car versus a car wash.

The PR team used graphics and statistics to explain that taking into account such variables as wages, taxation, housing costs, inflation and regional differences, time really is money. Meanwhile, broadcast interviews and case studies ensured delivery of the product and service messages, such as protection when shopping online.

Online, the story was covered by 25 news channels around the world.

The microsite generated Barclaycard's highest-ever response, with more than 70,000 unique users in the first three days of launch. Evaluation of the press and broadcast coverage shows that 54 per cent quoted Barclaycard's URL, while 100 per cent communicated Barclaycard's understanding of how we spend.

COMMENDED - Experian, Lifting the Lid Off Identity Theft and Transaction Fraud

In December 2001, Experian set about raising awareness of its fraud prevention systems. Two pieces of research into the topical crime of bin raiding - stealing personal and financial information from domestic refuse to commit transaction or identity fraud - were used as collateral with the media. This included raiding bins to prove the point. This positioned Experian as a fraud prevention expert and resulted in coverage in more than 110 publications and news sites, plus a ten-minute slot on BBC TV's Hard Cash and a documentary on Carlton.


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