RealTime IT News

Spiegel to Go Online

Leading national catalog retailer Spiegel Catalog Inc. Friday teamed up with Yahoo! Inc. and Spinway Inc. to provide co-branded free dial-up Internet access and online advertising technology solutions.

Launching its online branding initiative dubbed Spiegel Free Web, the no-fee Internet access program is available to consumers in the United States. As a part of the deal Spiegel's e-commerce Web site becomes a preferred destination for Yahoo! online shoppers.

Spiegel free Internet access is available for download on the Web and through a CD-ROM start-up kit that will be distributed to potential subscribers in millions of Spiegel catalogs.

Spinway will provide the infrastructure for Spiegel's free dial-up program, already well known for its deals with K-Mart Corp. Bluelight.com and NBCi .

Spinway is rapidly establishing its advertising network by partnering with offline brand-leaders to co-brand their free ISP services. Within the last five months, the free Internet access facilitator has accumulated a subscriber base consisting of more than 2.6 million consumers.

Danny Robinson, Spinway founder and chief executive officer, said the Spiegel deal marks another successful extension of its free access business model for online branding.

"The agreement with Spiegel and Yahoo! offers us the opportunity to work with one of the top catalog retailers and one of the top Internet destinations in the nation to extend the reach of our free ISP to millions of potential new consumers," Robinson said.

John Irvin, Spiegel president and chief executive officer, said it intends to use free Internet access as a lure to hook more online shoppers.

"Spiegel leads the way in satisfying women's lifestyle needs with unique products, trusted brands, multiple shopping options, and reliable service," Irvin said. "We are very pleased to provide this wonderful service, the result of which will not only give current Internet users free access, but allow even more consumers to experience the Web."

Spiegel's free Internet service includes personalized content and co-branded services from Yahoo! including mail, messaging, personalization and companion services.

The relationship with Spinway enables Spiegel to offer consumers one of the highest-rated Internet access services available for free with fast, reliable connections; 24-hour customer support; and, thousands of local access numbers nationwide comparable to most paid ISPs. In addition, the consumers' bandwidth is optimized, as Spinway's technology does not download or stream advertisements while a consumer is actively using the Internet.

Anil Singh, Yanoo! chief sales and marketing officer said the Spiegel program extends its brand and provides integrated services and commerce solutions to millions of Spiegel customers.

"We are pleased to be working with Spiegel.com and Spinway to offer consumers free Internet access," Singh said. "Spiegel is a leading offline brand choosing to communicate and transact online through Yahoo!'s Fusion Marketing platform."

Christian Feuer, Spiegel vice president of marketing and advertising production, said its free access offering would be utilized to delivery special deals to Spiegel customers through Yahoo!

"The opportunity for Spiegel to team with Yahoo! is exciting for us and for consumers who will benefit from this relationship," Feuer said. "By utilizing Spiegel Free Web, consumers may take advantage of cost savings and choose to spend it on their favorite Spiegel merchandise."

In addition to the free Internet access service, the recentl