NEW MEDIA: Online book shop opens music site

BOL, the Bertelsmann-owned online bookshop, this week begins selling CDs for the first time backed by a multimillion-pound advertising campaign.

BOL, the Bertelsmann-owned online bookshop, this week begins

selling CDs for the first time backed by a multimillion-pound

advertising campaign.



The shop is to provide half of the 500,000 CDs that will be on sale,

with accompanying 30-second audio clips to give customers a taster

before buying. Divided into 18 categories, the music site will also

include backstage interviews, news and reviews.



The ad campaign, which will comprise online banners, press and

eventually radio ads, will be integrated into M&C Saatchi’s current

’Love Books’ TV, press and poster campaign. ’Love Music’ will be the new

strapline, as the second part of a long-term umbrella campaign that will

run until mid-2000.



The theme of the ads will continue the books campaign, portraying people

who are overcome by their love of music. One image will be of a man who,

having refused to take his personal stereo off during a trip to the

barbers, is then left with tufts of hair where his headphones were.



Russ Ackerman, marketing director for BOL UK, said: ’It’s a huge

endeavour for us. We’re going into direct competition with other sites,

but what differentiates us is the brand we have.



’These are products that have emotional connections to consumers. It’ll

be called Love Music to be consistent with that and in terms of

enthusiasm for the products.’



Ackerman said the launch had been timed to get the products out fast and

to capitalise on the rush of festive present-buying. However it also

coincides with the first signs of a music price war.



Boots last week declared that it was slashing the price of its chart CDs

to pounds 9.99 for a five-week period from November 26, matching both

Amazon’s and BOL’s prices.



BOL is running a launch offer whereby postage and packaging for music

will be free until the end of the year.



Amazon, however, charges pounds 1.29 minimum postage and packaging with

22p for each additional item.



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