Vodafone and EE are set to pull out of mobile marketing partnership Weve, following the buyout of the third partner in the scheme – O2 – by Hutchison Whampoa.
According to reports, the venture, which collects data from 20 million customers spanning all three networks, is now likely to be run solely by O2 as a wholly owned subsidiary.
Set up in November 2012, Weve offers brands the chance to target ads to more than 22 million users, and was planning to expand into mobile payments and loyalty card services.
It uses anonymised data but offers advertisers a raft of personal information supplied by the customer, as well as location information. The joint venture reported £13m in revenue in its first year from text messages alone.
The three networks invested nearly £40m in the joint venture, which was designed to challenge the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter in the highly lucrative mobile marketing market. But it is understood difficulties breaking into the mobile payment sector have now scuppered the partnership.
During the last three years Weve launched a number of major advertising campaigns for more than 200 brands.
The future of interim chief executive Tim Hipperson (who has just been appointed chairman of ad agency Fearlessly Frank) is not clear.
To leave a comment please register – it takes less than a minute and is free of charge. You will also get our weekly email update The DM Report (to opt out contact firstname.lastname@example.org). If you are an existing user, please log in. If you have forgotten your log-in details please email email@example.com to get them reset!