Interactive TV ad service to roll out across the UK

An interactive TV advertising service is to be rolled out on digital cable TV from early next year, following protracted testing through Cable &Wireless’ majority-owned subsidiary Two Way TV.

It is unclear whether this week’s merger of NTL and C&W will speed up introduction of the scheme.

The service aims to offer viewers the means to request information, enter competitions, arrange sales calls, and purchase goods advertised during conventional ad breaks, through “walled garden” (specifically tailored) TV-Internet sites.

Two Way TV marketing manager Ian Johnson says: “Our research suggests that conventional direct response TV advertising can cost as much as &£14 to &£15 per quality lead. With our version of interactive advertising, there’s a real chance that we can reduce that cost to as low as &£1.50 or &£2.50 per lead.”

MFI and British Airways are among the advertisers which have been testing the system, and are expected to sign up for the full launch of the service on C&W.

Johnson rejects suggestions that the limited audience penetration of digital cable will hinder demand for the service. “This is a great chance for advertisers,” he says.

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