Coke/QXL plan cashless auction

Coca-Cola is using the UK as a testing ground for Web interactivity – it has linked up with auction site QXL to offer “a revolutionary cashless online auction”.

A new website – www.cokeauction.co.uk – will go live in late August and will offer young consumers the chance to bid for items without the need for a credit card. Coke and QXL, which is hosting the site, hope the initiative “will introduce Internet auction bidding to a potential audience of millions.”

Instead of credit cards or real money, the only currency acceptable will be “Coke credits”, which can be accumulated by collecting promotional red ringpulls or labels from special Coca-Cola cans or 500ml bottles. Consumers will be given 500 of these credits just for registering their details.

Coca-Cola GB managing director Chris Banks says: “We expect this unique online auction to be groundbreaking, introducing an exciting concept to a whole new range of people.

“Teenagers love the Internet but typically can’t buy or bid for things because they don’t have credit cards. This site enables them, and everyone else, to buy online and gives us a much more interactive dialogue with our consumers.”

QXL chief executive officer Jim Rose says his latest alliance is “a further step in our efforts to collaborate with major offline brands to weave QXL into the fabric of consumers’ lives.”

Coca-Cola has tied up with brands such as Sony and Nike to offer “desirable” items for auction, ranging from CDs and games software to WAP phones and MP3 players.

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