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Media Release - 09 08 2012

Gary Mehigan to be ambassador for the Citibank Dining Program

Sydney, 9 August, 2012: To further raise awareness and increase engagement with the Citibank Dining Program, MasterChef personality and restaurateur and TV personality, Gary Mehigan, has been appointed ambassador for the program for the next twelve months. From today, he will appear in a fully-integrated marketing campaign including TV, print, social and digital media.

The Citibank Dining Program is a rewards program that entitles all new and existing Citibank credit and debit cardholders to a free bottle of award winning wine, every time they dine and use their card to pay, at hundreds of partner restaurants across Australia. The offer, launched in 2011, is totally unrelated to points earned on the card making it the only rewards program of its kind in the country.

Linda Duncombe, Director of Marketing, Digital and Customer Experience at Citibank Australia, said, "Gary Mehigan is one of the most well-known and well-liked people from the Australian food and wine industry. We expect him to have a positive influence on building awareness of the Dining Program among new and existing customers.

"Traditionally, customers are comfortable with the idea of redeeming reward points with their bank for household items. Very few would expect to receive a free bottle award winning wine when they dine at partner restaurants, just for paying with their Citibank card. Gary will help us build recognition for, and awareness of, this exciting rewards program," she said.

Gary Mehigan said, "I think this is a great program. I love the support it provides the restaurant industry in these tough times and I love that people can be rewarded by their bank."

Citibank invests over $4 million in the sponsorship of dining and the restaurant industry, including purchases of wine for the Dining Program. This is expected to increase to over $6 million over the next 12 months. Between January 2011 and June 2012, 48,650 bottles of wine were given away to customers at restaurants.

Gary also said he was pleased to be an ambassador for Citibank. "I've been a Citibank customer for 10 years and they've always supported my local and international banking needs."

Citi operates in over 140 countries around the world with fee-free ATM accounts for the customers of the Citibank Plus account and over 4,000 branches globally. It also offers free transfers between Citibank accounts in over 25 countries.

Gary said the program is simple. "All you need to do is let your waiter know you're a Citibank cardholder when you order at one of the partner restaurants. You will be given a choice between a red or white bottle of award-winning wine to enjoy with your meal," explains Gary. "I'm proud my restaurants are part of the program."

The restaurants in the program range from top-end hatted restaurants to local family favourites. Restaurants in the program include Peter Gilmore's Quay, Martin Benn and Vicki Wild's Sepia in Sydney, Guy Grossi's Grossi Florentino in Melbourne and Philip Johnson's e'cco Bistro in Brisbane. A full list of partner restaurants can be found at citibankdining.com.au

Citibank's support for the food and dining industry extends through key sponsorships, including its role as a major presenting partner for Sydney's prestigious annual food event, CRAVE Sydney International Food Festival, as well as a principal sponsor of the New South Wales Wine Festival, NSW Wine Awards and the Good Food Guides in NSW, Vic and Qld. Citibank customers also receive special privileges and offers associated with these events and publications.

ENDS

Notes for the editor:

The Citibank Dining Program comes as an automatic benefit to all Citibank cardholders and entitles cardholders to a free bottle of award winning wine every time they dine at partner restaurants and pay with their Citibank card.

  • Each of the wines available have been hand-selected and are highly endorsed by independent wine experts including James Halliday, Good Wine Guide, Epicure magazine and Winestate magazine, amongst others. Every wine selected has been awarded 90pts or more by James Halliday or more than 4 stars by Epicure or Winestate.
  • New partner restaurants are joining the Program all the time. An up-to-date listing of all partner restaurants is available online and via the Citibank AU Mobile app
  • More benefits and privileges to be announced in the near future.

For more information about the Dining Program, please visit - www.citibank.com.au/dine/.

Business: Judy Hitchen, Citi Tel: +61 2 8225 1643 +61 423 760 522
Marketing Tessa Kerestes, Liquid Ideas Tel: +61 2 9667 4211 +61 414 961 542
Liberty Miller, Liquid Ideas Tel: +61 2 9667 4211 +61 416 480 662

About Gary Mehigan

Gary Mehigan is best known as the host and judge on the ratings smash hit Masterchef Australia (MCA) and Junior Masterchef. After four successful series of Masterchef, as well as Celebrity and Junior Masterchef 1 & 2, Gary is one of the most recognisable faces on Australian television and is particularly trusted for his knowledge of good food and wine.

Prior to MCA, Gary already had a budding TV career, with his roles on 9am with David & Kim, Boys Weekend, which aired worldwide in over 100 countries and Good Chef, Bad Chef series 1 and 2.

Born in England, Gary completed his apprenticeship in London, where his passion for food really began to shine. He spent his formative years of cooking at the Connaught and the Souffle, two of the most elite dining rooms in the UK at the time. Gary moved to Melbourne, Australia in 1991 and led the kitchens of several well-known dining destinations, including the gracious Burnheim Beeches, Brown's Restaurant, Novotel Melbourne and Sofitel Melbourne, before opening the award winning Fenix in 2000 and Boathouse in 2005.

With two restaurants and a leading TV host role under his belt, Gary has released several books, starting with Comfort Food in April 2010 and then a second book with mate and colleague George Calombaris, Your Place or Mine, in November 2010. Their second book together, Cook with Us, was released in October 2011.

About Citi:

Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

In Australia, Citi serves over 1 million customer accounts and 900 corporate accounts. It has the most comprehensive offering and largest global reach of any bank with operations in Australia.

Additional information may be found at citigroup.com, citi.com or citibank.com.au; or on Twitter@citi or @citibank, on Facebook at /citi or /citibankaustralia, on linkedin.com/company/citi, on youtube.com/citi and at our blog http://new.citi.com.