Beenz Meenz Carlson

05 October 2001

Failed online ‘currency’ has been acquired by US marketing mammoth Carlson for a sum unstated – but said to be more than mere beenz.

British firm Beenz first hit the web in March 1999 with a fanfare of hype, claiming to redefine online promotional schemes by offering its ‘currency’ – beenz – to surfers who purchased from participating retail sites or provided marketing information about themselves. Trumpeted founder Phillip Letts at the time: “'We have re-engineered money in a way which gives consumers and businesses a greater share in the riches of the web.”

Carlson, a conglomerate whose holdings include Radisson Hotels and TGI Fridays, was eager to lay hands on Beenz’ patented technology as well as its five million-plus registered user database.

But as a brand, Beenz will be canned, integrated instead into Carlson’s Gold Points Rewards program. This rewards customers, both of Carlson units and its partner marketers, each time they use their loyalty cards. The points accrued are then redeemed against travel, air miles, car rental and a trove of merchandise and services.

Enthused Harold Schrum, general manager of Gold Points Rewards: “The acquisition will not only allow us to develop a stronger online rewards capability for our Gold Points Rewards members; it also gives us access to an impressive global online community.”

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