Talk Talk pulls back from Phorm

TalkTalk has said it will not launch behavioural targeting with Phorm, following plans by BT and Virgin Media to delay use of the technology.


TalkTalk is the last of the three UK ISPs that had signed deals with Phorm, which serves relevant advertising based on online habits.

A statement from TalkTalk said, “We’ve never undertaken a customer trial and, following a thorough assessment of the Phorm system, we’ve decided to focus on other opportunities including the successful integration of Tiscali.”

On Monday, BT said, “We don’t have immediate plans to deploy Webwise”.

Virgin Media also said it would extend its review of the technology. A statement from the company said, “We continue to believe interest-based advertising has potentially important benefits for consumers, internet service providers and website owners.”

“However, given the fast-moving nature of the sector, Virgin Media intends to extend its review of potential opportunities with suppliers including Phorm prior to making any commitment to launch any of these technologies.”

A statement from Phorm today stated, “Phorm retains a strong balance sheet with adequate cash resources and the directors remain very confident in Phorm’s ability to deliver on the promise of this substantial opportunity.”

The blow comes as research from new media age found the number of consumers interested in relevant advertising has increased by 11% to 69%, although the majority of people (66%) still object to it on privacy grounds and a further 7% are opposed to it on other grounds (new media age, 8 July 2009).

This story first appeared on

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