Phorm dealt massive blow by BT

Telco decides not to adopt WebWise targeted ad system

BT and Phorm's stormy relationships looks to be over, with BT announcing it is not to adopt the controversial web-tracking system.

While the trial with BT ended back in December, Phorm had been hoping that something significant would come out of the link-up.

This is a huge blow to Phorm, who has been hoping big-name companies would adopt its WebWise tracking service that monitors what you look at on the internet and feeds you targeted advertising.

No immediate plans

In a statement to the Guardian, a BT spokesperson explained: "We continue to believe the interest-based advertising category offers major benefits for consumers and publishers alike.

"However, given our public commitment to developing next-generation broadband and television services in the UK we have decided to weigh up the balance of resources devoted to other opportunities.

"Given these commitments, we don't have immediate plans to deploy WebWise today. However, the interest-based advertising market is extremely dynamic and we intend to monitor Phorm's progress …before finalising our plans."

Phorm recently did a talk at the London School of Economics, where the company could not give an official date for when WebWise would be available to use.

However, executives did tell journalists: "Ofcom, the Information Commissioner's Office, the Home Office, leading privacy advocates like Simon Davies, the advertising industry and publishers have all backed our service."

With the news that BT has backed down from any commitment, shares of the company slumped by more than a third.

Via The Guardian


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