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BT has confirmed details of 26 advertisers committed to participating in its Interactive TV (ITTV) trials which go live with 2,500 consumers in August.

Allied Domecq, Grand Metropolitan, Levi-Strauss, Pedigree Petfoods, Pepsi, Toyota and Vauxhall are among participants in the AdLand channel, a discrete advertiser-only environment to be offered as part of the ITTV service.

“Pre-research showed an advertiser-only area would be actively sought out by viewers prepared to browse,” BT advertising business development manager Tim Patten explains.

“Part of the trial is to learn if such a discrete area for advertisers works or whether it should be more closely mixed with other content. This is a starting block from which we’ll learn.”

Advertisers are developing their own “communication” for the AdLand channel which could range from straight infomercials to advertiser-supported entertainment, says ITTV marketing manager Caroline Mulligan.

“We may also test the impact of advertiser communications more closely integrated with our other services.”

BT is recruiting 2,500 customers in Colchester and Ipswich, who will participate in the trial. They will be offered nine main services: movies on demand; TV programming on demand; children’s TV; education; music videos; local life and “high street”, comprising home shopping and banking; games on demand and AdLand.

Each will “narrowcast” to domestic TV sets and be controlled by a standard remote control. Most will be charged for as pay per view (for example, movies will cost between 1.50 and 3.00) or subscription services (such as music, for 5.99 per month) in order to assess what consumers want and how much they are willing to pay.

More than 100 companies are participating with BT in the trial, including Thomas Cook, National Westminster, WH Smith and Sears which will offer home shopping and banking services. Programme suppliers include the BBC, BSkyB, Granada, Carlton and Walt Disney. AdLand, which will be available free to consumers, will go live in November.

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