LONDON — The Bank of England spent close to £3,000 promoting the release of the new £10 note on the app Snapchat, Business Insider has learned.
Last month, to promote the release of the new £10 note — supposedly the most technologically advanced banknote in UK history — the Bank of England bought a Snapchat filter which appeared for users of the app in seven major UK cities.
In response to a Freedom of Information Act request from Business Insider, the Bank of England confirmed that it had spent £2,819.28 (excluding VAT) on the filter across the seven cities — London, Bath, Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds, Manchester, and Winchester.
The amount spent by the bank varied greatly by location, with the filter costing £1,621 in London, and just £21.66 in Leeds. In London the filter was available in the area around London Bridge station, and Piccadilly Circus, while in Leeds it could be used in the city centre in streets around the bank’s cash centre.
“Given the price per square [sic] feet of running a geofilter is different in every location in the UK, the amount spent on each city does not reflect the size of the area where the geofilter was available,” the Bank of England said in response to Business Insider’s FoIA request.
A full breakdown of the amount spent (in descending order) can be seen below:
- London — £1,621.14
- Birmingham — £459.86
- Manchester — £297.22
- Cardiff — £203.50
- Bath — £161.22
- Winchester — £54.68
- Leeds — £21.66
The filter was used as a promotional tool, alongside a widespread social media campaign, more traditional advertising, and a series of press appearances — including with Business Insider — by the bank’s Chief Cashier Victoria Cleland. It was widely advertised on the bank’s social media channels, with a tweet showing Governor Mark Carney photographed with the filter put out by the official Bank of England Twitter account.
In recent years, the Bank of England has made a serious effort to try and modernise its communications with the British public and try to educate people on the role it plays within society. That includes animated videos explaining its key policy tools, road trips around the UK by senior policymakers, and an increased presence on platforms like Snapchat, Twitter and Facebook.
Snapchat first introduced sponsored geofilters for general purchase back in 2016, with users able to pay for filters through Snapchat’s own self-service tool.
Earlier this year, Snap expanded this business area so that its ad partners in the US, UK, Australia, and Canada could sell and manage sponsored geofilters themselves.
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