Visa Enhances Integrated Marketing Strategy With Its First Major Movie Studio Alliance

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (November 10, 1997) - Secret Agent 007 speeds through a series of security clearances, but is denied his caviar when he attempts to pay by check. As the most recent star in Visa's check card commercial series, James Bond finally meets his match at the Secret Service snack bar stand where he is asked for ID. Created by BBDO New York, the 60-second spot breaks nationally tonight during Monday Night Football on ABC-TV.

The James Bond spot follows the familiar Visa check card theme that depicts a celebrity having difficulty paying by check. "Despite having his ID confirmed through hi-tech voice, hand and eye scanners, James Bond faces a greater challenge when he attempts to pay by check without identification," said Liz Silver, vice president, advertising, Visa U.S.A. "Unfortunately not everyone has a 'Q' to handle the details."

"The humorous role celebrities play in this series reinforces our strategy to illustrate the ease of using a Visa check card," said Silver. Other celebrities who have starred in the series include Shirley MacLaine, Bob Dole and Deion Sanders.

"We are really thrilled about our promotional alliance with Visa and particularly with the quality and style of the actual commercial. Humor is an important part of the James Bond phenomenon and this campaign really captures the attitude and sets up the new movie well," said Karen Sortito, executive vice president of worldwide promotions and corporate sponsorships, MGM.

Taking a page from its sports and events portfolio, Visa is using an integrated marketing approach to promote its alliance with the new James Bond film, Tomorrow Never Dies. Beginning in December, Visa will introduce a print advertisement campaign geared toward Generation X that will run in publications including Rolling Stone, Entertainment Weekly and Cosmopolitan. The print advertisement will showcase the items found in James Bond's wallet, including his passport and license to kill.

In addition to its advertising efforts, Visa is partnering with a number of member banks to run the "007 Sweepstakes" during the month of December. The sweepstakes will award a trip for two to the premiere of Tomorrow Never Dies in Los Angeles next month. Furthermore, cardholders who make purchases with their Visa check card seven more times in December than they did in November will be awarded a Sam Goody/Music Land gift certificate for the newly released James Bond movie Golden Eye, or any other

MGM/UA movie of their choice. This partnership marks the first major movie studio tie-in program for the payment system industry leader.

The 18th installment of the longest running film franchise in history, Tomorrow Never Dies stars Pierce Brosnan in his second outing as the legendary Agent 007. Jonathan Pryce stars as a dangerously powerful media mogul, with Teri Hatcher as his wife who has a secret past with James Bond, and Michelle Yeoh starring as a Chinese Agent who becomes a formidable ally to 007. The cast also features returning Bond veterans Desmond Llewelyn as 'Q', Dame Judi Dench as 'M' and Samantha Bond as Miss Moneypenny. The movie releases December 19.

Since the check card's introduction in 1979, the number of Visa check cardholders has soared from 917,000 to 50.4 million today. Visa projects that consumers will make a record 1.8 billion transactions with the Visa check card in 1997. By 2001, Visa estimates that debit cards will account for 10 percent, or 5.5 billion, of all consumer transactions in the United States.

As consumers' acceptance of the Visa check card has soared, so has the number of issuers. More than 4,500 financial institutions now issue the Visa check card.

In an effort to provide consumers with the safest-possible payment products, Visa U.S.A. recently announced groundbreaking new cardholder protections, including a zero liability policy for Visa cardholders who report loss, theft or unauthorized use of their cards within two business days of discovery, and a maximum consumer liability cap of $50.

Visa is the preferred payment brand and the largest consumer payment system worldwide. It plays a pivotal role in advancing new payment products and technologies to benefit its 21,000 member financial institutions, their cardholders, and the global economy. Visa is the only consumer payment system to facilitate $1 trillion worth of purchases of goods and services in a fiscal year. Visa`s nearly 600 million cards are accepted at more than 14 million worldwide locations, including 380,000 ATMs in the Visa/PLUS Global ATM Network. Visa`s Internet address is