New Dollar Coin: Marketing Campaign Raised Public Awareness but Not Widespread Use

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A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "If the public used the dollar coin rather than the dollar note, the government could potentially save up to $500 million annually. The Mint spent $67.1 million to promote the new dollar coin from 1998 to 2001, including expenditures for a marketing and advertising program; public relations and publicity programs; 23 partnerships with banking, entertainment retail, grocery and restaurant chains; and promotional events with transit agencies. Most of the $67.1 million was used for a national advertising campaign to build public awareness, generate acceptance, and encourage ... continued below

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United States. General Accounting Office. September 13, 2002.

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Description

A letter report issued by the General Accounting Office with an abstract that begins "If the public used the dollar coin rather than the dollar note, the government could potentially save up to $500 million annually. The Mint spent $67.1 million to promote the new dollar coin from 1998 to 2001, including expenditures for a marketing and advertising program; public relations and publicity programs; 23 partnerships with banking, entertainment retail, grocery and restaurant chains; and promotional events with transit agencies. Most of the $67.1 million was used for a national advertising campaign to build public awareness, generate acceptance, and encourage use of the new dollar coin. The Mint also worked with contractors to stimulate the new dollar coin's use in state and local government operations and used its own staff for marketing activities in federal government facilities, but it did not track the costs for the use of Mint staff. According to the Mint, between January 2000 and December 2001, the new dollar coin had generated $1.1 billion in revenue and $968 million in seigniorage. The Mint faces several barriers in its efforts to increase the new dollar coin. The most substantial barrier is the current widespread use of the dollar bill in everyday transactions and public resistance to begin using the new dollar coin. Other barriers that hinder wider circulation include (1) negative perceptions the public may have of the coin after two failed introductions, (2) lack of public information about the savings to the government from using the new coin, (3) lack of public awareness about the comparative advantages of the dollar coin over the dollar bill, and (4) the idea that the ease of carrying the bill is more beneficial than the durability of the dollar coin. In general, the Mint's marketing plan describes a program that is much smaller in scope than the marketing campaign used to launch the new dollar coin in 2000. The Mint plans to address some, but not all, of the barriers to increasing use and recognizes that successfully achieving widespread use of the new dollar coin will be difficult if the dollar bill cocirculates with the new dollar coin. The Mint's 2001 report to Congress did not fully and accurately describe the costs of the marketing campaign, the results obtained, and problems encountered. The 2002 report gave more details on marketing costs and a fuller description of the problems encountered."

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Government Accountability Office Reports

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency that works for the U.S. Congress investigating how the federal government spends taxpayers' money. Its goal is to increase accountability and improve the performance of the federal government. The Government Accountability Office Reports Collection consists of over 13,000 documents on a variety of topics ranging from fiscal issues to international affairs.

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  • September 13, 2002

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 11, 2014, 5:03 a.m.

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United States. General Accounting Office. New Dollar Coin: Marketing Campaign Raised Public Awareness but Not Widespread Use, report, September 13, 2002; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc295181/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.