Philippine cable operator bundles discount appliances with Web access

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MANILA--Destiny Cable, the country's only cable TV marketer to offer Internet access, is planning to spend about $1 million on anaggressive advertising campaign.

SkyCable, owned by leading broadcast firm ABS-CBN, is the top cable company in terms of subscriptions. Destiny is a distant third.

The Destiny campaign, handled by local agency Sil Ads, will run alongside the company's unique marketing scheme entitling subscribers to home appliances under the Destiny brand if they subscribe for two years, says Destiny VP Beda Manalac.

The company's marketing strategy has boosted its subscriber base by about 25%, Mr. Manalac says.

Destiny's marketing tack is fast eroding the market share of industry leaders because the company bundles subscriptions with something tangible like appliances.

"Filipinos basically always look for something tangible. The idea of paying for a service is still quite remote to them. So we had to link subscriptions with something tangible," says Mr. Manalac.

Under Destiny's marketing scheme, a cable subscription for two years comes with Internet access and offers home appliances such as a TV set, VHS player or CD/cassette player at heavily discounted prices. Destiny'sparent company is owned by a local appliance manufacturer.

Mr. Manalac also disclosed plans to create its own Destiny brand of computers that it will offer together with subscriptions for Internet access.

Copyright September 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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