Diners Club has come out with its first advertising campaign in two years.

The Citicorp-owned travel and entertainment card company is "trying to come out of the closet a little bit," said spokesman Walter Sanders.

The Chicago-based company faces more competition than ever. Its main rival is American Express Co., but Visa and MasterCard have also stepped up their marketing to the frequent business traveler, with products like the relatively new Visa Signature and MasterCard's World card.

In its print campaign, Diners Club highlights its rewards program, Club Rewards, which won an award from InsideFlyer magazine as best in its category.

The campaign's tag line, "Breaking the Plastic Mold," was developed by Young & Rubicam, which Citicorp hired a year ago.

It is the agency's first work with Diners Club.

The former agency, Foote, Cone & Belding, had created the signature line "The right answer for business."

Mr. Sanders said, "Many of the card companies have larger card bases than we do, but the people who know us really love us," he said.

At yearend Diners Club had eight million cardholders worldwide and 4.5 million merchants. The company wants to boost those numbers.

Mr. Sanders said Diners Club is well accepted by airlines, hotels, and car rental agencies but lags in retail acceptance. "We are going after the high-end merchants," he said.

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