RealTime IT News

TV Exec to Chair Net Ventures

Gary Rice, formerly managing director of Australian television broadcaster The Seven Network, has been appointed chairman of Australia e-Commerce and Click-On Australia.

Australia e-Commerce plans to be owner of the world's first generic e-commerce Web site, as it brings together some 1300 popular generic names under one corporate structure. Click-On Australia will manage the new site.

Pleased to be at the helm of this world-first venture, Rice said that the concept, "creates a whole new playing field and takes Australian users well beyond that currently on offer anywhere else. Simply put, it makes Australian business far more visible."

Although Rice's experience in Australia has been through his work with television (he also held senior positions at Network Ten and the Nine Network), Click-On deputy chairman and CEO Kerry Henry welcomed his addition.

"Gary's experience, knowledge and reputation in the electronic media industry fits perfectly with our electronic interactivity plans," said Henry. "We have already had a number of approaches from local and overseas media keen to be involved with the transparency that our concept allows between differeing forms of electronic and print media. Gary's appointment will result in a number of others emerging as well." Australia e-Commerce will operate as a shop front for vendors of various items including cars, wines, travel, boats, and leather goods.

Users enter a generic URL, such as www.cars.com, and are taken to a list of companies. They can then enter their area to ensure geographically relevant information. If this does not offer what they are after, the Australia e-Commerce site offers a search option as a last resort. The premise is to make the search for products to buy on the Internet as straightforward as possible, particularly for those whose knowledge extends little beyond how to enter a URL.

Australia e-Commerce has also implemented security measures to protect credit card data . The development of Australia e-Commerce's site is currently underway, with a projected official launch in early 1999. In the time before this launch, the site is offering sponsor positions under each of its 1300 generic names. www.ClickOn.au.com