Consumer Payment Card News

PRIVATE ISSUE PREVIEWS SECRET

Private Issue(R), which last year introduced a new, enhanced version of its credit card featuring celebrity artworks, is previewing the sequel to its card and its award-winning advertising campaign.
On June 13, Private Issue will announce two new celebrity artists at a gala event at New York’s Radio City Music Hall. The new celebrity art, however, will make its first public appearance on May 30 when Private Issue launches a two-part national advertising campaign developed and produced by DDB Needham Worldwide of Chicago.

The Private Issue Card advertising campaign begins with a “teaser” period during which the company will preview the work of the celebrity artists in transit and television ads and drop clues about their identities. Television spots will again feature the three “art critic” characters developed by DDB Needham for last year’s Private Issue Card launch. While viewing the celebrity art at a museum, the critics allude to the artists’ identities.

The mysterious celebrity artists will be identified during the second phase of the ad campaign. Immediately following the company’s June 13 celebrity artist “unmasking” at Radio City, television spots will feature the first appearances of the celebrity artists in the Private Issue Card ads.

“The success of the enhanced Private Issue Card is testimony to the power of last year’s campaign,” William L. Hodges, executive vice president of NOVUS Services, a business unit of Dean Witter, Discover & Co., said. “This year we want to develop a sense of suspense around the brand, to resolve the mystery by unveiling the new celebrity artists and to reinforce the unique personal financial choices available with the Private Issue Card.”

Last year, Olympic gold medalist Florence Griffith Joyner, former Beatles drummer Ringo Starr and actress Jane Seymour became the first celebrities to have their artwork reproduced on a credit card. Several weeks ago, Hodges announced that the company would retire the artwork cards of Starr and Griffith Joyner in order to showcase new celebrity artists in 1996.

“The decision to retire the Ringo Starr and Florence Griffith Joyner cards was not easy,” Hodges said. “Each of the three cards has been very popular and Private Issue Cardmember acquisition has exceeded goals. Our plan is to introduce new art each year, creating fresh choices for existing and prospective Cardmembers.” Hodges noted that current Ringo Starr and Florence Griffith Joyner cards are valid until the expiration date shown on the front of the card. When Cardmembers renew they will be offered a selection of new celebrity art or the classic black and gold Private Issue Card. In the event a Ringo Starr or Florence Griffith Joyner card is lost or stolen, Private Issue will provide a replacement card featuring the same art selection.

The Private Issue Card, issued by a business unit of Dean Witter, Discover & Co., is a general purpose credit card that is accepted nationwide wherever the NOVUS sign is displayed. NOVUS Services, a business unit of Dean Witter, Discover & Co., is the operating company for the NOVUS(SM) Network and all NOVUS card brands including the Discover(R) Card, the Private Issue Card and the Bravo(R) Card. Dean Witter, Discover & Co., is a diversified financial services company providing a broad range of credit services and investment products primarily to the individual customers of its credit cards and its full-service securities firm.

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