T-commerce, sort of, is launched

New York - American viewers watching NBC's top-rated comedy "Will & Grace" recently saw the beginnings of the much-anticipated introduction of t-commerce, or television-commerce.

While broadcasters and distributors search for standards that will allow viewers to go to the web with their televisions, in the middle of a program, NBC and Polo Ralph Lauren tried their own, somewhat clunkier, experiment last week.

During the final commercial break of "Will & Grace" last Thursday, a clip which asked if viewers wanted to buy the Ralph Lauren black and pink or white and pink pony T-shirt like the one Grace was wearing in the night's episode - and help fight cancer - log on to Polo.com.

Due to simultaneous substitution Global Television, which airs the program in Canada, did not show the ad.

For US$52, visitors could buy the T-shirt with US$15 of the purchase price going towards cancer awareness support programs. One published report said Polo.com had sold about 3,000 T-shirts in under a week, meaning US$45,000 for cancer awareness.

The cross-promotion, will be just the first of its kind as those in the TV industry look for ways to increase revenue from advertisers with value-added features like this spot.

Just wait until people can go to the web without budging from the couch.

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