Image credit: Louise English Fan Center
Local Currency Celebrates Pop Culture Icons
In these turbulent economic times, the idea of a local currency we can exchange with our neighbors and is somewhat insulated from the chaotic global markets starts to have an undeniable appeal. Matthew has written about legal local currency before, and the Totnes Pound has even become a collectors item on Ebay. But what if such currency could not only rejuvinate the local economy, but celebrate local culture too? In the UK, Transition Town Southampton members think they may have found the ideal way to do so - adorning their local notes with none other than local-boy-made-good Benny Hill! Click below the fold to check out the notes.
Disappointingly, or perhaps encouragingly - given how much gender politics have moved on - the notes feature Benny in a somewhat more dignified pose than my choice of banner photo. The notes also feature other local celebrities like legendary soccer striker Matt Le Tissier and pop star Craig David.
Image credit: Southampton Daily Echo
From a purely marketing point of view, it's great to see local movements like this embracing mainstream cultural heroes, rather than remaining in the usual hippy ghetto that is so often the domain of such initiatives. Here's more from the Southampton Daily Echo on how businesses are welcoming the local currency:
Business Southampton spokesman Grant Woodall said: "Businesses and organisations are looking at new and more innovative ways that they can get money back into the regional economy.
"Historically, these ideas would have been unheard off, but this is another example of people in the city realising that even with Government intervention, finances are not flowing in the city as they should be."
In Totnes, Devon, a local currency is now into its second year, while in the US town of Berkshire, Massachusetts, more than one million "Berkshares" have gone into circulation since it started a couple of years ago.