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Wells Fargo to Add Cartoon Ads to Its ATM Screens

March 02, 1999|From Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO — Making use of an audience that is sure to be watching, Wells Fargo said on Monday it will add animated advertisements to the screens of some of its automated teller banking machines.

Online book and music seller Amazon.com will be the first to advertise on more than 340 Wells Fargo ATMs in San Francisco, San Jose, Marin, San Mateo, Contra Costa and Alameda counties in California, Wells Fargo said.

The San Francisco-based bank said it would gradually roll out the ad-ready ATMs, called the Media Express ATM Network, into other areas in some 21 states.

The bank said that AT&T, among other businesses, will begin advertising later this spring. Ads also will appear on the backs of transaction receipts.

"As far as we know, we're the first bank in the country to offer an integrated and targeted marketing concept to outside businesses through the ATM," said Barry McCarthy, vice president of Express Banking at Wells Fargo.

When a customer makes a transaction at the ATM, ads will appear on the "Welcome," "Transaction Processing" and "Thank You" screens. Ads and special offers also will be printed on the back of transaction receipts.

For example, Amazon.com is using the transaction receipt to offer customers who enroll for Wells Fargo Online Banking a $10 discount off any Amazon.com purchase. Later this spring, AT&T will use the receipts to offer discounted Internet access.

The advertisements will not lengthen the transaction time, the company said.

The ads are animated but not interactive, said Wells Fargo spokeswoman Lisa Rossi. She said that in testing, consumers seemed to like the idea.

"We found that they didn't have problems with the advertising. They liked the entertainment at the ATM," Rossi said.

Rossi would not say how much Wells Fargo would charge for the ads, nor how much revenue the company expected to generate from the program. Wells Fargo also said it would donate screen space to community organizations in the markets where the ATMs are located.

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