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Diners Club Cuts Spending, Sets Outdoor Effort

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Diners Club launches an outdoor-only campaign next month from Wunderman here, a substantial departure from last year's multimedia effort. The company, like so many others, has trimmed its advertising budget.

"The current economic conditions have put our advertising budget virtually on hold," said Amy Venetucci, Diners Club senior vice president of brand strategy for the Chicago-based unit of Citigroup.

Diners Club's new executions will start to appear in April on billboards around three major airports, Chicago's O'Hare International, La Guardia International in New York and Denver International.

In 2001 Diners Club spent about $10 million on media, with the same outlay recorded in the previous two years, according to CMR. This year, the total will be vastly reduced, Venetucci said, although she declined to give details.

The outdoor campaign continues the "Travel in good company" theme, which was launched in January 2001 by Young & Rubicam in Chicago. The campaign was handled by Wunderman, which is Y&R's direct unit.

Last year's campaign, which included TV and print, as well as outdoor, featured famous traveling companions, such as the crew from Apollo XI, The Wizard of Oz characters and Batman and Robin.

The new work features Diners Club card members who frequently travel. Among them are a costume designer from the Joffrey Ballet, who travels with the dance troupe. Another shows a golf-course architect who designs courses throughout the United States.

The new work attempts to tie in people's professions with entertainment and leisure activities. "We wanted to target our card members that may go to the ballet or business professionals that often golf while on a business trip," Venetucci said.