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News Release

Staples Launches National Advertising Campaign to Introduce New Brand Promise

New Tag Line And Industry-First Ink And Toner In-Stock Program Demonstrate Staples' Commitment To Make Buying Office Products Easy

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., Feb 27, 2003 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Staples, Inc., (Nasdaq: SPLS) today announced a new national advertising campaign launching its new brand promise: Staples makes buying office products easy. The new campaign introduces a new tagline Staples. that was easy., with two new commercials that will first appear on Sunday, March 2, during 60 Minutes on CBS.

The commercials highlight the first in a series of long-term operational, merchandising and cultural changes underway at Staples, designed to redefine the customer experience and differentiate the Staples brand. Each spot uses humor and empathy to feature a new customer program, or "easy trigger" that reflects Staples' customer-centric evolution. Each of the new business initiatives featured in the commercials is a key part of Staples' business strategy to provide an easy shopping experience.

"Staples' new advertising campaign illustrates our long-term strategy to truly make buying office products easy," said Shira Goodman, executive vice president of marketing for Staples. "Our new tagline, 'Staples. that was easy' goes far beyond an advertising campaign -- it represents a fundamental shift in our approach to selling office products. It is evolving the Staples brand and guiding every business decision that takes place at the company."

In the first spot, "Ink Cartridge Bingo" Staples introduces an industry-first ink and toner in-stock guarantee program. In the commercial, a crowd of frustrated small business people look for toner, as if finding the one they need is by chance and akin to winning bingo. The scene transitions to a quick encounter at Staples where the prize is quickly, easily and consistently won with the help of a friendly store associate.

"Based on customer research, 84 percent of small businesses surveyed said a critical aspect of shopping for office products is having the toner or ink cartridge they need in stock," said Goodman. "Staples now guarantees in-stock availability of every inkjet and toner cartridge currently stocked in its retail stores."

The second spot, "Meeting Paper Shuffle" begins with a presentation to colleagues gone awry due to grossly disorganized presentation handouts. The scene transitions to Staples' professional copying and printing with the introduction of a three-step quality process at Staples Copy & Print Centers nationwide.

"Our new work for Staples takes an experience that every small business person can relate to and exaggerates it," says John Karlson, senior vice president of strategic development for Martin|Williams Advertising. "It's humorous and memorable, and it differentiates Staples as a brand that makes life easier, saves time and delivers products consumers need and trust."

About Staples

Staples, Inc. is an $11 billion retailer of office supplies, business services, furniture and technology to consumers and businesses from home-based businesses to Fortune 500 companies in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands and Portugal. Headquartered outside Boston, Staples invented the office superstore concept and today is the largest operator of office superstores in the world. The company has approximately 55,000 associates serving customers through more than 1,400 office superstores, mail order catalogs, e-commerce and a contract business. More information about the company is available at

Staples, Inc.
Deborah Hohler, 508/253-8509