Tesco Reveals iVillage Brand Extension Plans

Article excerpt

Tesco is planning to take the iVillage brand into magazines and books after seizing full control of the women's web site from joint venture partner iVillage US last week for an undisclosed sum.

The supermarket, which invested pounds 12m in launching iVillage.co.uk in December 2000, is in talks with several publishers, with a launch date earmarked for early next year.

Philip Rooke, chief executive of iVillage UK, said the magazine would be a 'cross between Good Housekeeping and Cosmopolitan', while books would focus on pregnancy, child-rearing, diet and fitness, relationships and home budgeting.

The buyout has triggered seven job cuts, but staff are being redeployed to other areas of the Tesco business. Marketing director Selia Bellanca remains in her post.

By taking full control, Tesco has committed to boosting the prominence of the iVillage brand in-store. IVillage will also promote Tesco's cause related marketing schemes, starting with the 'Race for Life' annual event to raise money for breast cancer research.

In addition, the deal allows the firm to offer joint advertising packages on iVillage. …