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Staples Signs With Be Free for Affiliate Marketing

Marlborough, MA-based Be Free Inc. signed an agreement with office supply store operator Staples Inc. to serve as Staples.com's exclusive affiliate program provider.

"This agreement with Be Free is part of our strategic plan to grow Staples.com's business by partnering with experts in the Internet space," said Jeff Levitan, senior vice president of Staples.com. "Be Free's technology and services allow us to easily establish and maintain relationships with leading content sites that already reach our target business customer."

Using the Be Free solution, Staples.com establishes online storefronts on affiliate Web sites, marketing specific merchandise that is presented in context. Affiliates earn commissions for each product sold through their Web sites. Staples.com will also use Be Free's beSmart methodology, which provides online merchants with timely market intelligence on affiliate programs. Financial arrangements with Be Free were not disclosed.

Launched in the fall of 1998, Staples.com is Staples' e-commerce business unit that serves the home office and small business customer via the Internet.

Be Free says it has more than 750,000 affiliates in its sales channels Clients include barnesandnoble.com, American Greetings, Electronic Newsstand, Reel.com and Network Solutions.