My company has a similar solution called PACE for Series 60 based handsets. It performs exactly the same function as the MS solution - an insert ads into the idle screen, into running aps on the screensaver, in-call and more.
As noted in the overwhelming number of posts, these type of solutions - including ours - can be intrusive and plain annoying.
However, trial results also show that subscribers can be very positive about ads - assuming the right balance is found between ads and and the services provided to the user in return for accepting advertising.
Here are some real user quotes from our UK trial in December last year:
• “If this service is done very well it will have a positive effect on the perception of ... as being an innovative operator!”
• “If they offered the service the way I liked it, then I’d be more inclined to get a phone with ...”
• “If they were the first company to offer it I’d think fair enough well done - they’ve stepped up a gear with going online.“
• “I feel a little bit like they are actually giving me something back - an additional service almost for free.”
The trick is of course finding a balance between ads and the free content/services supported by the ad-revenue. Users are OK with ads, but expect something in return.
I accept that these solutions can be annoying. Done well, however, they achieve a positive outcome for all parties. The results speak for themselves: a 60% click through rate on at least one campaign / month when running a 25%/75% ad to content mix.