ICL to sell ads on intranet retail service

ICL is to sell advertising space on its intranet shopping system which allows workers to shop from their desks – and claims it can be used to measure ad effectiveness.

ICL launched the world’s first workplace shopping service with supermarket Waitrose last week (MW July 9).

The scheme enables workers to order groceries from their computer terminal and have them delivered to their office on the same day.

Sion Roberts, ICL director of interactive retailing, says: “We can target customers with particular promotions when they log on, depending on what they have previously bought. We can do the same with ads.”

Roberts says the big advantage intranet advertising has over Internet advertising is that the audience is a known quantity and results can be almost immediately tracked.

He believes advertisers will be willing to pay a premium for being able to measure advertising effectiveness in this way.

ICL is also in talks with two national food retailers about the adoption of its workplace shopping system. Any other food retailer in the South-east operating area planning to join the service before April 1999 has to get Waitrose’s consent. But outfits in other regions, in non-food retailing or after April 1999 can adopt the service.

ICL refuses to name the retailers in question but says it is in talks with two major US retailers, plus operations based in France, Germany and Sweden.

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