Summit Notebook

Exclusive outtakes from industry leaders

Virgin Mobile USA’s trillions and trillions

May 20, 2008

Dan Schulman, CEO of Virgin Mobile USA Inc., speaks during the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecom SummitWill mobile advertising make you rich?

Virgin Mobile USA CEO Dan Schulman told the Reuters Global Technology, Media and Telecoms Summit today about a new advertising partnership with AOL’s Third Screen Media.

We asked him how big a deal it was. Schulman was enthusiastic, to say the least.

“We think it will drive a trillion dollars to us in the next four to six months.”

On the more serious side, Schulman explained that mobile advertising was still in its infancy as carriers have yet to really figure out the right way of offering people ads on their phones without becoming a nuisance.

“It’s small (in terms of revenue) and I wouldn’t even put it in the meaningful category yet. We’re experimenting with it. Mobile advertising is something you need to be quite careful with. A cell phone is a relatively intimate device.”

Virgin Mobile USA has had some success with its advertising forays. Schulman said more than 700,000 of its 5 million customers had signed up for its “Sugar Mama” promotion that let them earn free phone minutes in return for watching ads online.

Its subscribers can also put their friends to work for them with a “Sugar Mama” widget on social network Facebook. The more friends download the application and watch ads, the more free minutes their pal can accumulate.

(Photo: Reuters)

Comments

I already pay for my phone and service and if ads start showing up on my phone like telemarketers call my land line then ill throw both away. In the land of the Free, I’d like to have a life Free from advertising.

Posted by Chris Walker | Report as abusive
 

After taking money from my prepaid card Virgin Mobile also charged my bank. They have refused to issue a refund for the double charge, My bank did a fraud investigation and got my money back right away and now Vigin mobile has suspended my servive. Remember they double charge me and now I can’t use my phone and it was already paid for by a top up card. I am reporting them to as many agencies as I can for fraud.

Posted by Suzanne Galicia | Report as abusive
 

I have been trying to get a refund since July, when a nother payment was taken out. I just have one phone, and when its due you take it out. My phone was turned off today becouse I was out of min. I got my husband to have his turned off becouse it is another service, I bought my grandson a phone for christmas, I will take it back and I will change service. I would like to have a replay.

Posted by kathy smith | Report as abusive
 

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