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    Wal-Mart Begins Next Phase of In-store TV

    Wal-Mart will unveil details of its next-generation digital TV and signage network, called Wal-Mart Smart Network, to marketers and ad agencies on Sept. 3.

    A sales executive for one of its project partners, analytics, and technology firm DS-IQ, said there would be dual presentations of the network in New York and northwest Arkansas. According to Advertising Age, the sales rep was "otherwise sworn to secrecy on the plans."

    The concept involves moving TV screens or digital signage, which are much closer to eye level, according to another executive briefed on plans for the network. The screens will be part of product displays and create interactive "virtual assistants" to provide product information to shoppers or refine choices in key categories. According to the publication's Web site, the idea is similar to a project Wal-Mart began testing earlier in the year. The project used Procter & Gamble Co.'s Olay For You online recommendation search engine and adapted it for use in stores.

    In addition to the dual Sept. 3 presentations, agency and marketer executives can try the new network for $275 per person/session at the In-Store Marketing Institute's Las Vegas expo in November, according to Advertising Age.

    Wal-Mart executives were unavailable for further comment at presstime.

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