Jason Smith, director of new-media sales at Trinity Mirror, struck
an amazing deal with Amazon.
When Smith worked at Virgin Net, before his recent move to Trinity
Mirror, he was one of the first people in the UK to spot the potential
’I courted Amazon in the US and flew out to see them before they had
broken in the UK, to suggest a partnership with Virgin Net. Of course,
the fact Richard Branson was such a readily identifiable figure helped
to open doors.
’After various negotiations, in 1998 we completed what turned out to be
the biggest ever e-commerce deal in the UK. I’m still not sure whether
it’s been beaten - possibly not.’
Under the deal, Amazon became the exclusive supplier of books to Virgin
Net, with prominent placement for the brand in the form of links and
The exact value of the deal was never disclosed - but take it from
Smith, it was big.