ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Who cares about gift cards? People want cash.
That is the underlying message of a new advertising campaign that Western Union, a leading transmitter of cash, has announced it will launch this month.
Western Union pointed to a survey it commissioned in September 2008 of 1,004 adults. In the survey, 56% of adults polled said they would prefer to receive $100 in cash over $100 on a card.
"While the popularity of gift cards has increased exponentially in recent years, with consumers preferring to choose exactly what they wanted from a retail store, our survey now reveals a new trend: people want more flexibility. They want the convenience of cash," said Stewart A. Stockdale, executive vice president and president U.S. and Canada, Western Union.
"Western Union is a pioneer in providing services that move cash around the corner and around the world, and we are uniquely positioned to meet the gift giving needs of consumers this holiday season," he added.
The Western Union campaign will be called "Cash, the perfect gift" and will include print advertisements, television and radio spots and will highlight that "cash is greeted with open arms," the company said.
Western Union spokesman David Liggett attributed the increased popularity of cash to the troubled economy.
"In hard economic times people like the flexibility of cash," Liggett said. "Cash can be more easily used anywhere without having to look for whether there is a major card brand logo."