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FreeShop Named Exclusive 'Free Retailer' on Snap!

Seattle-based FreeShop International Inc., a resource for free and trial offers, signed a marketing deal with CNET, and its Snap! Online service.

The deal is expected to increase visits to FreeShop's Web site, by 50%, driving the total to more than 1.5 million visits per month, the company said. Financial specifics were not disclosed but equity is involved.

The one-year deal positions FreeShop as the exclusive free consumer retailer for CNET sites including Snap!, CNET's free consumer online service for a combination of cash and stock in FreeShop. The CNET sites claim 5.1 million visitors monthly, as measured by Media Metrix.

FreeShop will be the anchor tenant of the "Free Stuff" area in the shopping section of Snap! Online, and will be advertised throughout CNET and Snap!

"The fact that a successful company such as CNET not only signs a marketing deal, but additionally takes an equity position in FreeShop, speaks volumes for FreeShop's business model," said Tim Choate, president and CEO of FreeShop. "Our marketing deal with CNET allows FreeShop to continue its rapid growth by substantially increasing our reach to consumers, and assists us in attracting other potential partners of CNET's size and capability."

"We are excited to offer these services to our users and in promoting them, to help build FreeShop's business," said CNET Vice President for Strategic Development Martin Green. "Receiving an equity stake in FreeShop offers CNET the opportunity to participate in the building of that business beyond that which would result from a normal advertising relationship."

To date, FreeShop says it has generated more than three million orders for hundreds of major marketers.