London, ENGLAND — European online auctioneer QXL ricardo plc
has followed the example of Harry Potter by signing a strategic
agreement with Coca-Cola.
Much publicity recently was given to the Potter-Coke link-up,
the world’s most popular children’s fictional character bringing
obvious benefits to elderly Coca-Cola. This time, the benefits
are a little harder to perceive.
The deal, between struggling QXL and Coca-Cola Great Britain,
will enable consumers to bid for items via www.cokeauction.co.uk
without any need for a credit card. Thirsty consumers will pay for
the items essentially by drinking more cola, using Coke Credits
obtained by collecting promotional red ringpulls and other tokens.
For QXL Chief Executive Jim Rose the deal is a useful opportunity
to reach a large number of new potential users.
“We are delighted that we have renewed and extended our relationship
with this most recognized global consumer brand, Coca-Cola. This
relationship proves how two industry leaders can integrate their
services to bring enhanced offerings to all,” said Rose.
Independent assessment by MMXI Europe, carried out during September
2000, shows that Cokeauction was the fifth most popular auction
site in the U.K.
It works like this: consumers who register at the site get 500 free
Coke Credits, plus further credits each month as long as the promotion
lasts. More credits are available on special cans and half-liter Coca-Cola
bottles. The current exchange rate is 10 ringpulls or tokens being equal
to 1000 credits.
QXL ricardo has recently curbed its heady rate of expansion,
with shares still languishing at rock-bottom prices. However,
it continues to operate across Europe, with sites in Belgium,
Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway,
Poland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K.