01 December 1999

FOLLOWING TRIALS earlier this year in the Isle of Wight, BT has decided to roll-out Adcall, its free pay-phone service. The initial trial proved an enormous success, attracting 47,000 callers over a six week period - 400% up on expectations!

Adcall operates from a public call kiosk externally bedecked with adver-tising sites, internally standard except that the phone sports a red button. Once the button is pressed, the caller chooses one of three 30-second commercials, each for a different advertiser (currently Mars, Philips and web auctioneer QXL). After listening to the spiel, he/she is entitled either to a free 43-second national call or a 67-second local call.

Five hundred more Adcall kiosks opened across East Anglia last month, including Ipswich, Norwich and Kings Lynn. Chortled BT: 'It’s a perfect win-win situation. The callers get a free call, the advertisers reach their audience and BT gets customers using its payphones.' Ad-phobes will be relieved to learn that the payphones also respond to good old-fashioned cash in the usual manner. If the ex-tended trial succeeds, the scheme will roll-out nationwide.