Digital start-ups miss a trick with Web omission

Over the past two months we’ve been deluged with advertising for digital TV – Sky or ONdigital.

But why do none of these ads include a Web address so that potential customers can find out more information, talk to the companies concerned or even buy the service?

It’s a glaring omission, particularly for a consumer proposition that promises, at some stage in the future, to be interactive.

Take ONdigital. Not one advertisement that I’ve seen over the past month highlights its Web address. Customers would be entitled to think the company doesn’t have a site. It does – www.ondigital.co.uk – but you wouldn’t know it judging by the communications output.

Why is this? Perhaps someone forgot that the Web can deliver complex information to over 7 million UK consumers in a form they find convenient.

Perhaps they think that including a Web address, unlike a free-phone number, will confuse the consumer.

Anyway, this theory collapsed last weekend when I went into Dixons and picked up a leaflet for ONdigital which I thought would tell me more. It didn’t, and neither did it point me to a Website which could.

When I finally located ONdigital’s Website, it was barely worth the effort in the first place.

I expected to be able to quiz a TV guide as to what I could choose to watch on a typical night’s digital viewing in the future.

Yet all I found on the site was a list of the channels and an invitation to phone for an information pack. Hardly “interactive”. At least Sky Digital’s offer is a lot more informative.

This disregard of the Web in the launch of new – and supposedly interactive – TV services is worrying.

Sometimes you get the impression that the TV companies consider the PC to be irrelevant as a medium.

Yet content is converging to a point where organisations will focus on developing digital assets that can be accessed through a wide variety of interfaces and devices. Those people who mask inaction under the mantra of “TV will be the winner” risk emerging as losers as more enlightened competitors grasp the nettle of convergence.

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