Glasses Direct unveils Northern & Shell tie-up

Glasses Direct, the online spectacles retailer, has joined forces with publisher Northern & Shell to create three co-branded websites.

The websites will be called OK! Eyewear, Star Sight and Express Sight. They launch in early July, and will sell Glasses Direct’s full range of eyewear.

A promotion to support the tie-up will run in nine Northern & Shell publications including the Daily and Sunday Express, Daily Star and Daily Star Sunday and OK!, New and Star. A 14-week campaign of reader offers and other promotions will also appear in the partner publications.

The co-branding uses Glasses Direct’s new logo, which was launched at the end of May. The logo is made up of different coloured lenses that will change according to the season and aims to promote the idea that people can have a range of glasses to suit their outfit or mood (MW May 22).

The new look was designed by Albion, which won the agency’s £2m advertising and brand development business last year (MW November 22, 2007).

Glasses Direct was set up by young entrepreneur James Murray Wells in 2004 after he was shocked by the cost of reading glasses. He used £1,000 of his student loan to organise a supply of prescription lenses directly from glazing laboratories. This allowed him to sell glasses online at a fraction of high street prices because the website does not have to subsidise eyesight tests.

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