In yet another major setback to the advertising firm Phorm, Virgin Media has notified that it has no immediate plans to roll-out Phorm's contentious Webwise targeted advertising technology.
Virgin emphasised it was never officially decided upon using the advertising firm's technology on its networks, but had just considered Phorm's Webwise as it thought of other “behavioural advertising” system on its networks.
The move from Virgin Media follows the decisions of pull out from BT and Carphone Warehouse's TalkTalk on using the behaviour-based advertising, leading to considerable fall in Phorm's shares.
Although the broadband operator recognises the significance of internet-based advertisng for ISPs, consumers, and website owners, but it said it is “reviewing potential opportunities with suppliers including Phorm prior to making any commitment to launch any of these technologies.”
The company further went on to say that it realised users' privacy concerns surrounding such internet-behaviour tracking systems, and would surely fulfil the legal requirements completely if it does launch any such system.
Quoting the same, the company said: “Virgin Media will communicate openly and transparently with consumers before and after any future deployment of interest-based advertising technologies across its network”.
After being thrashed out by all major ISPs including BT, TalkTalk and Virgin Media, the near future of the advertising firm Phorm seems to be in the red zone in the UK, making the company to look forward to the overseas market.
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Can Virgin Media afford the backlash right now? If the benefits outweigh the inconvenience, certainly yes. After all, a significant proportion of Virgin Media users chose the firm not because of its price advantage but because (a) they were the only one covering the neighbourhood (b) Virgin media is the only mainstream nationwide company capable of offering 20+ mbps speeds
(The Wall Street Journal)