Virgin Media 'still reviewing' Phorm

By Andrew Laughlin, Technology Reporter

Virgin Media has said that it is still reviewing various interest-based advertising options, including the online tracking service developed by Phorm.
This follows a decision by BT and TalkTalk not to go ahead with plans to rollout Phorm's technology, which enables targeted advertising based on internet habits.

For the past 18 months, Virgin Media has conducted a technical and legal consultation on the company's offering prior to any potential implementation.
Despite running surveys on consumer attitude towards the technology, the internet service provider has not at any stage trialled the system over its network.

Virgin Media has said, though, that it supports the opportunity represented by interest-based advertising for consumers, ISPs and online firms.
"However, given the fast moving nature of the sector, Virgin Media is reviewing potential opportunities with suppliers including Phorm prior to making any commitment to launch any of these technologies," a spokesperson for cable operator said in a statement.

"We recognise some consumers have significant concerns about the potential implications of interest-based advertising for their privacy. Virgin Media is committed to ensuring that any future deployment complies not only with the relevant legal requirements but - as an absolute minimum - the best practice guidelines contained in the Internet Advertising Bureau's recently published code of practice.

"Virgin Media will communicate openly and transparently with consumers before and after any future deployment of interest-based advertising technologies across its network."