NEWS: Commission rules out single Euro PR contract

PR agencies could start picking up business for the single European currency - to be called the Euro - from the end of next month, although the European Commission has ruled out a single multi-million pound contract to promote it.

PR agencies could start picking up business for the single European

currency - to be called the Euro - from the end of next month, although

the European Commission has ruled out a single multi-million pound

contract to promote it.



Following recommendations made at a round table conference on the single

currency in January, the Commission has revealed that it intends to

issue calls for tenders from the end of May for assistance in educating

key audiences about the concept and the benefits of monetary union.



Managed by the Commission’s financial and information wings, DG II and

DG X under monetary affairs commissioner Yves-Thibault de Silguy, the PR

programme will begin by targeting businesses and professionals with a

direct interest in monetary affairs, such as bankers, accountants and

financial controllers. A campaign aimed at the general public and other

interest groups will probably start at the end of 1997 or in early 1998.

Although a precise budget has yet to be allocated, the Commission has

earmarked up to pounds 30 million to promote the Euro over the next few

years.



Jean-Pierre Malivoir, the official at DG X with responsibility for the

Euro, said that agencies would be called upon to assist with strategic

advice, media relations support and events management. However, he

stressed that work would be parcelled out in separate ‘lots’ or tasks

rather than a single contract.



‘That does not mean we will not have any contracts, but they will be for

different purposes according to need,’ said Malivoir. ‘There will be

individual actions but not a full programme.



‘Our main concern is not to try to sell the Euro but to stop

apprehension about it. It is not propaganda or publicity but an

education process,’ he said.



Malivoir added that the Commission’s PR initiative would operate

independently of European Union member states, which are being left to

devise their own communications strategies.



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