Online agencies court BT for first WAP ad drive

The companies which claim to be behind the launch of the UK’s first wireless application protocol-enabled (WAP) advertising campaign are in talks with BT about running ads through Sega Dreamcast consoles.

Online agency Media 21 and ad network 24/7 Media this week launched a WAP ad for sports service Football365, on Nokia phones through the Orange network. They claim this is the first UK WAP ad campaign. The campaign is also running in Finland and Denmark.

Mobile phone users clicking on an ad-link on Orange’s sports menu are redirected to a Football365 site, where they can access content such as live football scores and the latest club news. The site has been redesigned and reconfigured for WAP devices.

Media 21 director Rick Sareen says: “We have all learned a great deal about how to make WAP work and we will be undertaking more activity through this and other emerging platforms.

“We are negotiating with BT – Sega Dreamcast’s Internet service provider – about running ads on the game consoles.”

He says the same technology could open opportunities to run ads on Sony PlayStation 2, which will also eventually have Net links.

Forrester Research estimates that about 90 per cent of large Web players in Europe are building or planning WAP interfaces to their content.

It predicts that within a few years mobile Net access will surpass Net access through PCs.

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