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WANTED AUSTIN: Bring Us Your Goofiest, Tackiest, or Otherwise Unwanted Holiday Gifts in Exchange for a $100 WaMu MasterCard(R) Gift Card


WHAT:  WaMu is helping to break the cycle of bad gift giving this
        holiday season by inviting Austin residents to exchange the
        worst holiday gift they've ever received -- think blinking
        reindeer sweater, a talking scale and stale fruitcake -- for
        the nicest gift, a $100 WaMu MasterCard(R) Gift Card. The
        first 100 Austinites to show up at WaMu's Northland Branch
        with their worst holiday gift will receive a gift card. Unlike
        a merchant's gift card, the WaMu gift card can be used
        anywhere in the U.S. where MasterCard(R) debit cards are

WHEN:  FRIDAY, December 21st
       Beginning at 7 a.m. (crowd will begin forming by 6 a.m.)

       3317 Northland Drive
       Austin, 78731

WHY:   GREAT VISUAL -- A long line of people, waiting to exchange
        their craziest unwanted gifts, for a $100 Washington Mutual
        MasterCard(R) Gift Card.

       GREAT STORIES -- Find out the story behind the gifts that
        people receive; you're guaranteed not to be disappointed.

       THE STATS -- According to the National Retail Federation, this
        holiday season, retailers can expect to see a surge in gift
        card sales. The fifth annual gift card survey found that gift
        card sales will total $26.3 billion this holiday season. This
        marks a significant increase over 2006 sales with gift cards
        sales accounting for $24.8 billion. The study also notes that
        the average consumers will spend $122.59 on gift cards this
        year vs. $116.51 in 2006. (NOTE: "Gift Card Sales More Popular
        Than Ever". National Retail Federation News Release, November
        13, 2007).

             Missy Latham, 713-594-9332

    SOURCE: WaMu