In Wednesday’s great giveaway of books, Bertelsmann subsidiary BOL
received 40,000 visitors, most of whom were hoping to
get one of the 20,000 free books being offered.
BOL appears to be pleased with the result, although
marketing experts will point out that the company merely
succeeded in adding 20,000 non-paying customers, plus
a further 20,000 disappointed customers to its subscriber
base. Thousands more failed to access the site at all, as
the servers were overloaded.
To fend off criticism, BOL UK managing director Alexander
Broich announced Thursday that for additional orders placed
after all the books were gone, BOL will send a free book
anyway — although he did not say if it would be the one
that customers requested.
“We are delighted with the response to this promotion,
and thank all customers for their ongoing support and welcome
the new BOL subscribers today,” said Brioch.
“This proves that the UK is definitely online, and there are a
hordes of UK surfers out there looking for bargains!”
The giveaway promotion celebrated the first six months of
BOL trading in Europe. Visitors were offered a selection
of six bestsellers and could choose one per household.
BOL is the online business of Bertelsmann, the media company
that also owns 50 percent of the U.S. online bookstore,