The World Gold Council has asked six agencies to pitch for its creative business. The announcement comes one week after it published a report highlighting the potential use of gold as an international internet currency.
The UK-based council, which represents half the world's gold-mining firms, is believed to have asked Euro RSCG, Wieden & Kennedy, TBWA/London, Publicis, Bartle Bogle Hegarty and BMP DDB to pitch. It has not revealed the value of the contract.
Council chief executive Haruko Fukuda said: 'It is true we are holding a beauty contest to find an agency to handle our generic advertising for 2001.'
The council has used HPT Brand Response on a project basis since mid-1999. HPT's first work for the council was to hire a barge, pile it high with scrap metal, and float it down the Thames past the Houses of Parliament in protest at the government's decision to sell off more than half its gold reserves. The barge carried a sign which read: 'Gordon Brown & Co, scrap metal dealers'. HPT also devised press ads opposing the auction.