FreeMarkets, Inc. (Nasdaq:FMKT) Company Sets Industry Trend by Sourcing Contract for National Television Advertising Online

In keeping with its tradition of innovation, H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE:HNZ) has conducted the first-ever reverse auction for television advertising.

With the help of FreeMarkets, Inc. (Nasdaq:FMKT – news), the leading B2B eMarketplace, Heinz sourced a contract for national television advertising. The advertising is for its Bagel Bites brand of frozen pizza-topped snacks.

“We are very excited to have pioneered this cutting-edge method of purchasing advertising,” said Heinz Media Director Charles Lanphear. “By sourcing our contract through FreeMarkets, we were able to lock in advertising spots on the right network at the right price and on the right programs. In short, we’re maximizing our advertising spending and efficiency.”

Working closely with the FreeMarkets’ market making team, media buyers within Heinz, as well as representatives from the company’s outside advertising agencies prepared a detailed Request For Quote (RFQ) which not only specified the time period during which advertisements will air, but also the kind of programming during which they will be broadcast.

Leveraging their global databases of suppliers, FreeMarkets and Heinz identified broadcast providers who could supply advertising space during programming and times that would attract Bagel Bites’ target audience of teens. Nearly a half dozen suppliers participated in the auction, including a number of national television media outlets.

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The suppliers were trained in the use of FreeMarkets’ BidWare technology, which creates an interactive environment in which suppliers can submit bids in real time and respond to subsequent bids made by other suppliers.

More than 20 bids were submitted for the Heinz contract during auction, which lasted about one-half hour.

“We are very pleased with the results of this event and with the FreeMarkets process,” Mr. Lanphear said. “Media buying is a complex task, and FreeMarkets helped to simplify it by enabling us to source exactly what we need, while saving considerable time, paper work and hassle.”

“Heinz has clearly set a new standard for media buying with this auction, and we are extremely happy that they chose to work with us to make it happen,” said Jason Reneau, director of consumer business at FreeMarkets. “Our eMarketplace is ideal for sourcing complex goods and services in markets where supply is tight, and we are happy to have successfully leveraged our technology, information and services to create a market for a strategic purchase that delivered results to Heinz.”

About Heinz

With sales over US$9 billion, H. J. Heinz Company is one of the world’s leading marketers of branded foods to supermarkets and away-from-home eating establishments. Its 50 companies operate in some 200 countries, offering more than 57 hundred varieties. Among the company’s famous brands are Heinz, StarKist, Ore-Ida, 9-Lives, Weight Watchers, Wattie’s, Plasmon, Farley’s, Smart Ones, The Budget Gourmet, Linda McCartney, San Marco, GoAhead!, Bagel Bites, John West, Petit Navire, Boston Market, Skippy, Kibbles’n Bits, Pounce, Wagwells, Nature’s Recipe, Orlando, ABC, Olivine and Pudliszki. Information on Heinz is available at

About FreeMarkets

FreeMarkets is the leading B2B eMarketplace. FreeMarkets combines its industry-leading technology platform with unparalleled sourcing information and world-class services to deliver huge savings to customers. FreeMarkets has executed over 6,800 online auctions for more than $10.6 billion worth of goods and services to date, and created estimated savings of nearly $2.0 billion for its customers. The FreeMarkets B2B eMarketplace enables buying organizations to source products from more than 150 supply verticals. More than 7,000 suppliers from over 55 countries have participated in the FreeMarkets B2B eMarketplace. The Company also operates FreeMarkets Asset Exchange, the leading B2B eMarketplace for surplus assets and inventory. FreeMarkets can be found on the Web at FreeMarkets is a registered trademark of FreeMarkets, Inc.

Forward-looking statements

Statements in this press release that are not historical facts, including those statements that refer to FreeMarkets’ and Heinz’s plans, prospects, expectations, strategies, intentions, hopes and beliefs, are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on information available to FreeMarkets and Heinz today, and neither of them assumes any obligation to update these statements as circumstances change. There are risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, market acceptance of FreeMarkets’ online auction marketplace, the competitive nature of the market for business-to-business online auction services, FreeMarkets’ ability to retain and increase revenue from existing clients and to attract new clients, FreeMarkets’ ability to attract and retain qualified personnel, the size of the market for used equipment and surplus inventory, the demand for online auction and other asset recovery services by buyers and suppliers, and FreeMarkets’ ability to integrate acquisitions. Risk factors are described in more detail in FreeMarkets’ and Heinz’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.