Unilever to rollout European Network?
Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief
If the rumours are true this could be the first European wide network.
For many months now (since May 2007) AdWalker have been talking of an unnamed interactive fixed screen digital network ‘win’ of epic proportions (currently in trial).
However, I understand that the retailer is Unilever. Screens will be deployed next to ice-cream displays in nationwide convenience store chains. Pilot stores are Spar in Ireland.
In separate, more concrete news, AdWalker has been granted a US patent for its wearable interactive digital media platform.
As previously reported, one of AdWalker’s main competitors, Pixman, has the patent for ‘overhead’ weareable media – which is why you do not see other overhead systems.
LONDON (Thomson Financial) – Adwalker PLC said it has been granted a US patent for its interactive wearable media platform, adding that it will be valid in the US until June 2025.
The AIM-listed specialist in wearable media devices said the patent covers the apparatus for supporting a mobile electronic display system.
It’s U.S Patent Number 7265970
What the patent actually means to other wearable solutions is unclear at the moment. AdWalker have had an Irish patent for a long time now (and it hasn’t affected, say AdScreens to date) and their is a UK Patent Pending also I believe.
Unilever is the world’s biggest ice cream manufacturer, with an annual turnover of €5 billion. Except for Breyers and Ben & Jerry’s, all its ice cream business is done under the “Heartbrand” brand umbrella, so called because of its heart-shaped logo. Unilever currently operates eleven ice cream factories in Europe; the biggest include factories at Heppenheim in Germany, Caivano in Italy, St. Dizier in France and Gloucester in the United Kingdom.
The Heartbrand was launched in 1999 (and slightly modified in 2002) as an effort to increase international brand awareness and promote cross-border synergies in manufacturing and marketing (“centralisation”). It is present in more than 40 countries. Although the logo is common worldwide, each country retained the local brand so as to keep the familiarity built over the years.