The afternoon newspaper to be launched by Sp!ts B.V. in mid-2000 will be linked directly with the Internet. Through bar codes printed in the newspaper, the reader will be able to gain additional information on articles and advertisements on Internet direct sites. This technology represents a totally new development.

Many articles and advertisements in the new afternoon newspaper will be accompanied by bar codes. These can be scanned with a specially developed key ring. The device stores the codes until the reader inserts it in a PC-connected standard. The computer subsequently downloads the desired information from the Internet. From August on, the key ring will be tested by a few thousand respondents after which it will be obtainable for readers.

The technology for this close linkage between the newspaper and the Internet has been developed by US company Jumptech Inc. To stress the importance of this collaboration,

N.V. Holdingmaatschappij De Telegraaf, Sp!ts B.V.'s parent company, has acquired a minority stake in Jumptech. A few tests of the software, performed outside the Netherlands, have proven successful. Editorial boards can draw the attention of readers with Jumptech software to additional information. The big advantage is that it will obviate the need for the addition of long and complicated Internet addresses. A bar code, possibly supplemented with a simple pin code, will suffice.

With Jumptech, advertisers will be able to guide readers to specially laid-out pages on their own websites. The above-mentioned study has shown that this adds considerably to the effectiveness of campaigns. In the not too distant future, the Telegraaf company intends to integrate the Internet linkage in other publications as well.