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Case Studies


‘Is the 20p in your pocket worth £50?’ campaign

‘Is the 20p in your pocket worth £50?’ campaign

Best practice from Watershed PR


It’s the story everyone is talking about – ‘is the 20p in your pocket worth £50?’

More than 35 million people around the globe are aware of the hunt for the undated 20p coins, thanks to a spectacularly successful media relations campaign by Watershed.

The London Mint Office (LMO) offers quality and choice in collectors’ coins and is one of the leading distributors of collector coins in the UK.


LMO asked Watershed to launch the search for undated 20p pieces. People had to pre-register with the London Mint Office – providing an invaluable data capture campaign for the company.

Those who registered and then sent in undated 20p coins were paid £50.

Implementation and results

Watershed launched the campaign on Sunday, June 28, 2009 embargoing the news for the following Monday.

Against a crowded news agenda – Michael Jackson’s death, Glastonbury coverage and the impending heatwave – Watershed generated 182 pieces of UK coverage and secured 37 UK broadcast interviews.

The story was negotiated with BBC Breakfast TV for two in-depth sofa interviews in their coveted 6.50am and 7.50am slots. Pre-record interviews simultaneously aired with SKY News, 217 commercial radio stations and Channel Five.

Coinciding with the broadcast coverage, Sunday interviews had also been organised with the national newspapers, resulting in a swathe of print coverage.

Watershed continued to pitch the story throughout the Monday, securing afternoon and evening coverage with Chris Evans’ Radio 2 Drivetime show, ITV’s 6pm News, BBC News 24 and a host of regional BBC radio stations.      

Over the next three days the story swept the globe. Watershed ensured the London Mint Office remained closely aligned with the news flow.

Estimates from independent evaluation auditors say that between 30 and 45,000,000 around the world have now either read or watched the story.

On launch day it was the most read story on The Daily Mail’s website and the second most forwarded link from the BBC website.

Registrations on the London Mint Office website exploded. By the end of the first day 100,000 had visited the site and 15,000 had registered.

This smashed the company’s predictions and saw the coin specialist company raise the number of accepted registrations from 10,000 to 25,000.

The coverage also made the price paid by independent collectors rocket - on the Tuesday 29 June a 20p coin sold on e-bay for a staggering £5,800.

Watershed continues to work on the next phase of the campaign.

Managing Director, The London Mint Office,  Simon Mellinger, said,
'Watershed did a brilliant job launching the hunt for the Undated 20p in the media.

“Their approach was thorough, highly creative and the results hugely exceeded our targets. We are very happy with what they achieved for us.”

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