back to article Calling a friend? Listen to an advert. You lucky, lucky thing

Do you ever think that the time you spend listening to a phone ringing is wasted? ChannelVAS does. It wants to use that time to sell you things. The idea the company has had is that instead of listening to a ringing sound you could be listening to an ad. The mobe network could then make money from selling that time to …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So the call won't get put through until the ad is finished? Sounds like a bit of a waste of time. I can *just about, maybe* see it working if the calls are free or there's some significant sweetener in there for the caller, but not otherwise.

    1. jake Silver badge

      It's actually "cost shifting", moiety.

      Me, a non-subscriber to the so-called "service", has to listen to an advert provided by said so-called "service", despite the fact that I never signed up for the annoyance. My air-time is payed for by myself, not the so-called "service" trying to delude me with marketing bullshit. Any so-called "friend" making use of this will instantly be put on ignore.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's actually "cost shifting", moiety.

        The way the article reads is that the ads are played to me -the caller- instead of listening to the ringing noise while waiting for the other end to pick up. Presumably in that case the call wouldn't be put through until the advert has finished playing.

        Blyk was the -thoroughly deserved- failed service where you conscripted 'mates' into listening to adverts (not that you would have any a couple of days after you started with the service).

        If this one plays the ad to whoever you're attempting to call then it will die quickly. If it only plays it to the caller, then it might just about work if callers are offered something significant; otherwise it's already dead and hasn't stopped moving yet. Can't say I fancy it for myself at any price.

        1. Stuart 22

          Re: It's actually "cost shifting", moiety.

          That would just encourage me to send an email instead. Now if I could sell my sig space to an ad agency ...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It's actually "cost shifting", moiety.

        > payed


        Is it really that difficult?

  2. Captain DaFt


    OK, I was livid at first, but now I think it might not be a bad idea if used properly. (Don't hurt me, hear me out!)

    Imagine an ad campaign directed at these <WHOA! REDACTED!> that plays selected gems from Bill Hicks little essay on marketing ( ) , on their phone every time they make a call.

    No way to shut it out, they can't stop it, because the miserable <WHOA! REDACTED!> actually took the money to do it to themselves!

    Imagine, every time those <WHOA! REDACTED!> make a business call: "Kill yourself", "Kill yourself, you worthless piece of Shit.", "Seriously, you have no excuse for living, just kill yourself."

    Anybody up for a kickstarter?

  3. BongoJoe

    “AdVoice gives digital advertisers the opportunity to re-target their mobile users via multi-Mobile Network Operator channels and generate revenues from sources other than subscribers.”

    This, without doubt, is going to go along the lines of "Your call is important to us, so we'd like to foce you to listen to our advert whilst we're talking to someone else whose call is clearly more important to us than yours."

    The dweeb in the quote above uses the word 'target'. I can only agree...

  4. Mystic Megabyte

    There is (or hopefully will be) an app for that

    One that will remove any ad-slinging number from my contacts list after sending them a SMS explaining why.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    A note to any network or person contemplating this…

    If you play any such ads to people calling me, I will cancel my service with you.

    If you play any such ads to me whilst I am calling you, do not be offended if I refuse to call you.

    1. P. Lee
      Thumb Up

      Re: A note to any network or person contemplating this…

      I'd take the service for my landline. Only telesales people call that number. Friends get the mobile number.

      A certain delicious irony, getting 50% revenue of admen calling and listening to admen.

  6. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Marketing types....

    What? They think everyone wants to hear ads all the time? I guess you don't have to crazy to be a marketing type, just gullible for hype... at least self-generated hype.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Marketing types....

      I think the prime requirement to be in advertising is to be so self obsessed as to actually believe that the world is anxiously waiting for your next fart - brain or otherwise.

      1. Elmer Phud

        Re: Marketing types....

        " as to actually believe that the world is anxiously waiting for your next fart - brain or otherwise."

        Otherwise --- they don't wan't people engaging thier brains - brains = poor sales.

  7. Da Weezil

    After the lawyers have been dealt with... execute the ad men.

    And what is to stop them delaying call connection until *all* the ad has played through to its conclusion?

    Just fuck off, This has no place on any phone I use. If this became widespread I would revert to a payg connection and communicate as much as I could by IM and email.

    We really need a way to exterminate the marketing fucktards. We neither want nor need selling to at every step.

    I am NOT a marketing opportunity. I DONT buy on a whim or just because some ad tells me I need this.... so it would just be wasted on me, and would most likely create a NEGATIVE view of the product/service for me and Id guess many others.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: After the lawyers have been dealt with... execute the ad men.

      I am NOT a marketing opportunity. I DONT buy on a whim or just because some ad tells me I need this.... so it would just be wasted on me, and would most likely create a NEGATIVE view of the product/service for me and Id guess many others.

      Very much agree with this.

      We recently had a state election here in Queensland. It'd just be my luck that 3 years ago a fellow by the name of Campbell Newmann decided to run for the seat I live in (Ashgrove) and wound up becoming both our local member of parliament and the premier. (No, I didn't vote for him even then.)

      Early last month a decision was made to have the election on the 31st. I think I received no more than one or two letters from the other camps but the amount of crap that arrived from Campbell Newmann's office and party, then the robocalls on top of that, soon cemented his spot at number 5 on my ballot paper (out of 5 candidates).

      I'd have turned the ballot paper 90° and written an 8 in the box beside his name but I didn't want to cast an "informal" vote.

      Marketers, let this be a message to you: harass people and you will do a disservice to your client, regardless of who the client is!

  8. Will Godfrey Silver badge

    I'm Impressed

    I didn't realise just how utterly insane these people could be. They actually manage to out-stupid politicians!

    1. Triggerfish

      Re: I'm Impressed

      They don't do much to dispel the cliche of them likely all sitting around doing coke and talking bollocks.

  9. John Robson Silver badge

    One benefit...

    All those automated cold calls will start talking to an advert rather than waiting for the ringing to finish...

  10. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Stop scraping...'ve reached the bottom of the barrel.

  11. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Zero Wastage?

    More like 100% wastage if I encounter this on call I make.

    There is no way that I am going to hold on while somthing that I don't want and am not interested in is advertised to me.

    Like other posters I'll probably send them an email stating the reasons why their company has lost me as a customer. If enough of us do this then perhaps (yeah right!!!!) this 'feature' will be consigned to the great waste bin in the sky.

    No, No ,No. This is so wrong.

    To the people who dreamed this up please see the icon for what I'd like to do to you.

  12. wyatt

    April fool is it not? The last attempt where they replaced ringing with music failed? This will be an improvement because?

    As previous posts have said carriers will be dropped and contacts no longer called. Great revenue stream that.

  13. Dave Bell

    It might be useful

    I can have a number which uses this "service", which I can put down on all those websites which ask for my phone number, and then sell it to the call-centre advertising industry.

    A 5% share of the revenue will be quite sufficient. I have an old "burner" mobile I can use for this.

    1. Nick Kew

      Re: It might be useful

      So automated telesales calls listen to canned adverts.

      Get the 'bots talking to each other, and run a sweepstake for the day they get smart and start plotting against us.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    "... a potential 12 billion ad impressions daily"

    And also a potential 12 billion daily annoyances in an already fraught world. It all adds up - this could spell the doom of civilization. Or at least of civilised behaviour.

    Kill it now.

  15. FuzzyTheBear

    Other places ..

    Next in line is what ? Ah yes . Man sits on loo in McDo , why not put this time to good use and show the user laxative and toilet paper adverts.. A million opportunities missed ...

    These guys said it best

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Let me see if I've got this right...

    1) I make a call to someone because I need to speak to them;

    2) Instead of a ring-tone I get an irritating ad offering me the option to "press x" to get more information, "press y" to purchase, etc.;

    3) They think I won't just be really, really irritated and find another network provider?

    If they all do it I can see a Kickstarter coming out for a "Paid for VMO with no ads"

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Guys you have no say on this if it happens all the company's will jump on the band wagon

    and when you ring the gas, electric, council, phone provider, anybody you have to talk to you will end up with marketing crap...its bad enough when i ring my doctors and have to sit there listening to them keep saying we need your call and it you go on-line we can help every few seconds

    Now they want to make us listen to bloody adverts trying to sell us something we don't want or need.

    Its got to be an American idea they are the only people to put up with it.

  18. jake Silver badge

    Good, fucking Gawd/ess ...

    When will the marketards finally realize they are a blight on Humanity and put themselves out of our collective misery? Nobody, and I mean NOBODY with a properly functional cerebral cortex enjoys being inflicted with marketing.

  19. Turtle

    From Despair To Glory!

    "Blyk – a service which gave you free calls when your mates listened to advertisements..."

    Oh the depths of human depravity!

    "...failed in 2009."

    Yet the majesty of the human spirit ultimately triumphs!

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Dawkins preserve us! As if it's not bad enough having to plough through endless automated menus (although many can be by-passed, once you know the routine), "they" are now foisting ads on us instead of a ringing tone, if I read this article correctly. Jeepers - what next?

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Help!

      Jeepers - what next?

      Please don't ask because none of really want to know.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm either going to answer the phone in under a second, or I'm oging to silence the ringtone and let it roll to voice mail--which I'll never check.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    so which network feels it can afford to lose 200m subscribers?

    it'll make Ratner envious

  23. Chris G Silver badge


    The logical follow on to this will be to insert ads into SMSs and IMs and why not an ad with every email in the text pane so that your ad blocker can't erase it?

    Does anyone know a good assassin ?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They tried this once with me ..

    .. whilst I was waiting to talk to someone. Instead of hold music or (my preferred option) a bleep every couple of seconds, they played ads.

    That created 3 problems:

    1 - it seriously pissed me off, also because this was on my dime

    2 - I could not tell when the caller was back online

    3 - the person I was waiting for was their director. Who I didn't acknowledge when he came on, as I pretended I could not tell him from the ads.

    Now I was in the position to go seriously retentive on their asses because they needed me instead of the other way around, but I have made a template letter/email now which use when another company does this - and in "this" I also include shops that insist on playing spoken ads through their speakers. I'm the guy thinking about spending my money with you - at least pretend you're interested in my shopping experience, or I'll go to where it's less annoying.

  25. Neoc


    The only time I (marginally) accept ads is when I am put on hold and there is a mix of music and advertising for the company's own product. I might not like it, and I generally ignore it, but this makes a certain amount of sense.

    Advertising for a different company simply to make a buck? I can see a "you must put the caller on hold x number of times" directive to all call-centre peons.

  26. MrDamage

    Off grid

    With more and more intrusive snooping powers being demanded by the various "intelligence" organisations, incessant adverts on all forms of media, telemarketers who ignore "Do not call" lists and legislation, and now the potential to suffer through adverts after already paying a company for its services, I cannot think of any reason to remain on the grid.

  27. This post has been deleted by its author

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