Open, the interactive digital TV service, has signed up six new
content providers in the run-up to its formal launch this autumn to
bolster its home shopping offering.
W. H. Smith, Going Places, Abbey National, Manchester United, the Press
Association and Yellow Pages have all agreed to supply interactive
shopping services to the new system.
From September, W. H. Smith will offer online shopping for books and has
plans to introduce stationery and education products later in the year
via W. H. Smith Online.
Going Places will offer a travel booking service, allowing consumers to
use their TV remote controls to view video clips of holiday destinations
and hotels and check availability and air fares.
Abbey National customers will be able to check their bank balance, pay
bills and transfer funds via their TV screen, while Yellow Pages will
list restaurants, hotels and guest houses and provide interactive
advertising opportunities for those services listed.
Manchester United fans will be able to access the club’s Red Hot News
service and buy merchandise from its Megastore, while PA New Media will
provide music charts, entertainment news and star interviews, as well as
the updated football results and news.
The latest recruits join Argos, Dixons, Iceland, Somerfield, Woolworths,
Hasbro, HSBC and First Call as content providers on Open, while Ford and
Unilever have already signed up to provide interactive advertising.
Open is planning a pounds 15 million advertising and marketing blitz in
time for its launch this autumn.
It has appointed Ogilvy & Mather to create the ads and is working with
MindShare on media strategy. A media buying pitch is expected shortly.