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
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.