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RR Donnelley Offers Advertisers Wireless Bar Codes

R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. will offer its phone-directory print customers the opportunity to include scan-ready barcodes in their ads, allowing readers with wireless devices to view more product information or to make purchases.

The Chicago-based print production firm yesterday announced a deal with AirClic Inc., Blue Bell, PA, which created this wireless marketing application.

The AirClic technology can be applied to mobile phones, personal digital assistants or two-way pagers. The end-users are responsible for plugging the technology into their devices.

The technology also offers comparison shopping.

“The benefits of this technology and our partnership with AirClic bring us even closer to revolutionizing the way buyers and sellers communicate with each other through directories,” said Ronald Daly, president of R.R. Donnelley's telecommunications unit.

The entry of an established firm such as R.R. Donnelley into the wireless game underscores the medium's ongoing popularity among marketers looking for new investment areas.

For instance, San Francisco-based Bluefish Wireless recently started a free network for PDA users. The technology allows PDA users to make secure wireless transactions and to receive news and local information by aiming their devices at Bluefish access points, which are small boxes attached to advertising displays.

Holding a PDA's phone button for two seconds initiates the unit's beaming capability, allowing users to download and upload information at the access points. There are access points at Chicago's O'Hare and Hartsfield Atlanta international airports. Deals are in the works for additional access points.

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