Credit firm drafts in C&W

Picture Financial, a Newport-based credit consolidation company, has called in Cohn & Wolfe to boost its ‘ethical’ status.

Picture provides secured personal loans for homeowners, helping customers reduce their monthly credit repayments. It wants to distance itself from the muddy reputation of its industry,
exemplified by money-grabbing loan-sharks.

'We're not selling its products,' said C&W corporate affairs managing director Stephen Doherty. 'Picture is in an industry with a difficult reputation. We want to establish it as a valued industry voice with a positive corporate reputation.'

Doherty added that Picture wanted to prove it was not aiming to seduce those in desperate financial situations, but to help those who managed credit poorly.

Since its launch in 2004, Picture has rocketed in size. Staff numbers have grown from 77 to more than 140 in the past year, and it is aiming to employ 240 people by 2007. The launch was backed by venture capitalist Apax Partners, and was funded by Merrill Lynch.
Doherty leads the account, reporting to Picture marketing director Julia Dallimore. The brief is believed to be worth more than £100,000.

C&W's corporate arm won the account after a four-way pitch, which included Lexis PR, Lansons Communications and Birmingham-based incumbent Tonic Public Relations.

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