Brown & Williamson Tests High-Tech Vending Machines

Share this content:
Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corp. began a pilot test of interactive vending machines to ensure that only adults gain access to the cigarettes, the company said yesterday.


Nightclubs and other adult-oriented venues in Cleveland and Los Angeles are the first to test the machines developed by the nation's third-largest tobacco company and Marconi Online Systems.


"We've developed a 21st-century solution to an age-old problem," said Todd Hanke, manager of e-business for the maker of KOOL, Pall Mall and Lucky Strike cigarettes.


Hanke said the machines use an age-verification process developed by the two companies. Brown & Williamson is trademarking the process known as "E-Check," which allows a sale only after age is verified electronically through a valid driver's license and credit card. At the same time, the new vending machines feature five computer-generated talking salespeople who engage consumers in edgy dialogue.


Steve Rogers, Brown & Williamson's manager of distribution and vending, said the machines "not only turn away underage smokers, they provide adult smokers with competitive prices and promotions," he said. "The high-tech machines remember the customer and can offer discounts based on the adult smoker's purchase history."


For example, the virtual sales clerk might offer a discounted price or a free pack to a repeat customer if they buy one pack.


"The machine may also encourage an adult smoker of a competitive brand to try a Brown & Williamson product," Rogers said.


In the pilot, Brown & Williamson, Louisville, KY, is working with vending machine operators Priority Vending in Cleveland and T.D. Rowe Amusements in Los Angeles.


Loading links....
close

Next Article in Data/Analytics

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

We recently were named B2B Magazine's Direct Marketing Agency of the Year, and with good reason: We make real, measureable, positive change happen for our clients. A full-service agency founded in 1974, Bader Rutter expertly helps you get the right message to the right audience at the right time through the right channels. As we engage our clients' audiences along their journey, direct marketing (email, direct mail, phone, SMS) and behavioral marketing (SEM, retargeting, contextual) channels deliver information relevant to the needs of each stage. We are experts at implementing and leveraging marketing technologies such as CRM and marketing automation in order to synchronize sales and marketing communications. Our team of architects and activators plan, execute, measure and adjust in real time to ensure the strategy is working as needed and change things if it's not.

Find out more here »

DMN's Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here