Open links up with six more providers for autumn launch

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.

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.