TV personality Noel Edmonds is in talks with national pub operators to launch Pub TV, a system that links venues by video, allowing inter-pub quizzes and Blind Date-style games.
Edmonds’ Video Meeting Company intends to take video-conferencing technology into pubs to “create pub loyalty to make the pub the centre of the community once again”. The system would also use advertising and sponsorship.
VMC intends to surround the live entertainment with programming tailored around events, for instance old football footage, and advertising.
The advertising aspect of the scheme – costing a minimum of &£250 a month per outlet – has already caused confusion among regulatory bodies.
VMC chief executive Paul Pascoe says: “The regulations that apply to broadcast advertising do not apply to video-conferencing, which is sent down telephone lines regulated by Oftel. It’s about our own morality.”
An Advertising Standards Authority spokesman says there is no precedent for advertising through video-conferencing technology, but believes it could assess complaints.
Pascoe says VMC hopes to sign a deal before Christmas with one partner and would pilot the scheme in 15 to 20 outlets before a national roll-out. The company is also talking to health clubs.
VMC is looking for an advertising agency for a UK-wide advertising campaign.