A three-year $100 million international partnership to build interactive shopping ports of call for Philips Electronics’ consumer electronics and personal care products has been struck between the manufacturing giant and AOL Time Warner.

The cross-platform media alliance “is not something out of the blue,” according to Philips Electronics’ senior vp of corporate strategy Jan Oosterveld: “We worked together even before the [AOL–Time Warner] merger on DVD players … on copyright protection issues … [and] The Philips Experience [at Atlanta's Turner Field] is supported by Warner content and on AOL-TV."

An editorial board comprising representatives from the two companies will determine which Philips' products will be showcased online and supported by editorial content from AOL TW media properties. Online and offline media, including Turner Broadcast networks such as CNN, and print titles such as Time and Fortune magazines will also feature Philips’ brands.

In addition, the partners will jointly develop search engines, comparison shopping features, buying guides and retailer links. The technology platform is expected to be in place within the next three months.

Philips says it will be online with a ‘walled garden’ (exclusive section) within AOL by this year’s fourth quarter, while an interactive shopping destination will be launched in Europe in Q1 of 2002 and globally by summer of that year.

However, anxious not to antagonize its existing retailers, Philips insists that “ what we're building together with AOL is really about content, functionality and links to our retailers.” Or so says the company’s senior vp for e-business and relationship marketing Ueli Morant.

News source: Advertising Age - Daily Deadline