The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 21, May 27, 2007, Article 18


In the 25 May edition of the C.N.A. E-Bulletin of the Canadian
Numismatic Association (v3n33), editor John Regitko discussed his
discovery and research on an advertising campaign involving coins.
Excerpts from the piece appear below:

I drove to my local Tim Hortons coffee shop on Saturday evening,
May 19, parked the car and got out. I noticed a shiny coin lying
on the ground, picked it up and looked at it. It was a 2006 nickel
with a red round sticker on the obverse with the wording in yellow:
'www./5centwings/.com' on 3 lines. What's the next thing you do when
you find a coin on the ground? You look for more, admit it! I found
another 6 pieces.

I went on the Internet to see what it was all about. It took me to
the Website of St. Louis Bar and Grill (whose corporate colors are
yellow and red, just like the sticker on the nickel). It asks you
to click on the coupon to download a printable copy. The coupon states:
'Get an order of six wing pieces for only 5 cents each with the purchase
of a beverage at any St. Louis Bar and Grill location. Print coupon;
attach sticker from found nickel; and present at the St. Louis Bar
and Grill near you! Valid between May 21 and July 21, 2007. Coupon
holds no cash value. One coupon per person.?

The coupon might hold no cash value, but the nickel the sticker was
attached to has a value of 5 cents. Actually, 35 cents for me because
I walked around the parking lot to pick up all 7. Anyway, I needed
the exercise.

In view of the Dr Pepper promotion for a $1 million token, the current
Volvo promotion for a sunken treasure chest with $50,000 in gold, and
the ANA promotion where they placed stickers onto quarters, I thought
I would check it out further. I contacted Barbara Wrona, Executive
Assistant for St. Louis Franchise Limited, who forwarded my questions
to Jordanna Shtal at their advertising agency, theadlibgroup Inc.
According to their website,, they also do work
for Purina, Delta and Holiday Inn, among others. Here are the answers
to my questions about the St. Louis Bar and Grill nickel campaign.

Q. How many nickels are you scattering around?
A. On May 21st, the St. Louis Bar and Grill launched its 8-week long
nickel campaign. 100,000 nickels branded with the website were scattered randomly near each of the 21
restaurant locations across Southern Ontario.

Q. Did you place a special order directly on the Royal Canadian Mint,
or did you work through your local bank?
A. The bank branch obtained them for us.

[Regitko secured a donation of 300 stickered nickels, which will be
included in the 2007 C.N.A. Convention's Main and Coin Kids
registration kits, mounted on an explanatory card. -Editor]

"'It is not everyday that you see a web site address on a nickel.
People are going to be curious who's behind this and will visit that
site to solve the mystery,? Brent Poulton, President of St. Louis
Bar and Grill, says. Yes, it worked for me. 'Keep your eyes peeled
for nickels with red stickers at your local parks, bus stops,
community centres, and high traffic locations,' he adds."

[The ad agency may have thought it was coming up with a novel
method of generating buzz, but stickering, overprinting and
counterstamping currency for advertising purposes has a long
history.  E-Sylum subscriber Cliff Mishler has an extensive
collection of "stickered dollars" which advertised U.S. businesses
and political causes.  The removable stickers were likely a means
of following the letter of the law outlawing the counterstamping
or other alteration of U.S. coins for advertising or any other
purpose other than use in the channels of commerce.   Coincidentally,
the U.S. Mint has just come down on another promoter which violated
the law in altering U.S. coins and returning them to circulation -
see the next item.  -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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