Spotcast Communications, a company which offers mobile phone users free calls in return for listening to advertisements, is searching for a media agency to handle a pan-European brief.
A ten-second ad gives the listener one minute of free call time. The mobile phone user can access more information about an ad and can buy over the phone.
The company is in talks with one of the UK’s major mobile phone operators thought to be Vodafone about delivering the Spotcast service, as it expands from its Hong Kong base.
Founder and chief executive Marc Owensby says the service will launch in the UK and France this June: We will hold a pitch for a media agency in Europe. Our media spend from July onwards is likely to increase significantly, and could more than double our current $3m (&£1.8m) spend.”
Zenith handles the company’s media buying in Hong Kong. London-based agency Prophet handles its creative work.
Spotcast will also launch an ad-sponsored information service allowing users to hear ten-second headlines covering news or sport, with content provided by media owners. Full stories can be accessed or downloaded on to a WAP (wireless application protocol-enabled) phone.
A loyalty programme awarding Air Miles or similar reward points is being discussed.
A Web-based service for advertisers will allow them to monitor ad budgets, update ads, choose and change the profile of their target audience and monitor responses.