International News: BP Testing In-Store TV in UK Stores

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International News: BP Testing In-Store TV in UK Stores

LONDON -- BP is planning the launch of a forecourt and in-store TV network for its BP Connect sites and has signed up Coca-Cola, Walkers and Cadbury to advertise on the screens, according to a recent report by Hoovers.

The concept is being tested in two BP Connect sites in Milton Keynes and one in Derbyshire over the next three months. If the initiative proves successful, the company plans to roll it out to all its 1,250 stores. The United Kingdom trial is being run simultaneously with similar activity in the United States, the report said.

The BPTV screens, which will be based both in-store and around the gas pumps, feature advertising by the three brands, news supplied by the BBC and travel and weather updates.

"There has been little innovation on petrol forecourts in the UK and we want to change that," said BP Retail global retail marketing director Chris Sedgwick. He added that BP would be looking for more brands to advertise on the network after the trial.

The launch of BPTV comes as supermarkets begin to distance themselves from the medium, Hoovers said. Tesco recently shelved plans to roll out a TV network to 300 of its biggest stores, while both Asda Live and Fresh TV -- operated by Asda and Sainsbury's respectively -- have been axed after lengthy trials.

The use of in-store TV networks in petrol stations has a checkered history. In 2002, Forecourt TV, which operated screens at a number of petrol-station sites, collapsed. The venture had been running for only two years, the report said.