Vodafone UK chief urges retailers to join Weve m-commerce JV

Executives with the three UK operators involved in mobile payments and marketing joint venture Weve used an appearance at a recent event in London to emphasise to retailers and brands the significance of their startegy. Vodafone UK CEO Guy Laurence said not signing up will be like "not signing the Beatles."

Laurence said a lot of people laughed when the wireless industry said it would take over the camera industry in 2003. "It will happen in the mobile advertising space," he said at an Ad Week Europe event, according to Travolution. "If you want to be the CMO who did not sign the Beatles, ignore everything you have heard today."

Telefónica's O2 UK CEO Ronan Dunne and EE chief Olaf Swantee also were on hand during the event to promote the initiative, saying that by combining efforts, the operators have what it takes in a world dominated so much by Google and Facebook.

"We will bring to the table something Google do not have: an authenticated real relationship with the user that they trust," Dunne said, according to Travolution. "Yes, we see the Googles of this world and others as potential competitors but we will bring what people really value. If we do that, the competition will take care of itself."

Weve, said to stand for We've Enabled Vital Experiences, was launched last fall and is composed of Vodafone, EE and O2 UK. The joint venture is expected to launch mobile wallet services later this year and talks reportedly are underway with other operators to join the venture.

Weve, has access to the combined 65 million customer records of the three operators, plans to use these existing customer relationships to offer services developed internally, as well opening access to third-party advertising, promotions and offers. Customers, who need to opt-in to receive Weve services, will potentially see their preferences, contact lists, browsing history and location being used to ensure targeting is appropriate.

For more:
- see this Travolution article
- see this Mobile News article
- see this The Drum article
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.) 

Related Aticles:
UK m-commerce JV Weve attracts first advertisers, replaces CEO
UK operators rename mobile payments JV 'Weve,' hype tailored services
Analysys Mason: Sprint, Telefónica aim to increase their presence in the worldwide advertising value chain
3 UK awaits invitation to join mobile payments JV