118 118 ads take aim at mobile data

118 118 is set to launch a new ad campaign that aims to “explode the myth” that 3G data and smartphones make for a better service.

Video: 118 118 TV ad

An ad launches on TV tonight (13 January) featuring 118 118’s long-standing 70s style moustachioed runner characters. The duo explain how they have “Got Your Back” when 3G network signal is patchy, by allowing consumers to call 118 118 at times of need – such as when they need to obtain a number for a locksmith.

The campaign, which will also feature outdoor, draws on insight from the Ofcom Communications Infrastructure Report which found 66 per cent of the UK has coverage for voice and text services by all mobile networks, whereas only 13 per cent of the country is reached by all 3G data services.

Jean-Michel Maltais, 118 118 global chief marketing officer, said, “Our new TV campaign for 2014 vividly demonstrates the simplicity, speed and service accuracy of calling 118 118. The mobile networks coverage for calls greatly exceeds data availability and performance, so our advertising sets out to inform consumers that when connectivity is a problem, we’ve got their back.”

The ads were created by Watermill, with media buying handled by Zenith Optimedia.

The campaign launches a week after BT, which operates rival directory enquiry service 118 500, was fined £225,000 by premium rate phone line watchdog PhonePayPlus for unfairly dragging out the length of calls to its service – leading to “bill shock” for some customers.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email customerservices@marketingweek.com

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here