Feeds

Free Wi-Fi aims to snag Mondeo man

Ford reaches out to roaming gadget geeks

Business security measures using SSL

Anyone logging onto one of the UK Wi-Fi locations run by free-hotspot.com and online-4-free.com this summer can expect to have to wait through a video advert for the new Ford Mondeo, before they get the promised free internet access.

The free Wi-Fi service is funded by advertisements. Some of these are simply static web pages, while others - including the Mondeo campaign - are video-based "Ultramercials", as the ad industry somewhat nauseatingly calls them, and can be anything from 15 seconds to a minute in length.

"Wireless advertising is the next big thing," claimed Marcel Misdorp, free-hotspot.com's sales veep. He said previous Ford adverts on the network have achieved click-through rates of six per cent, which is pretty good for an online ad.

He said the free Wi-Fi technology should work with any Wi-Fi-capable device, including PDAs and smartphones, but noted that so far 95 per cent of free-hotspot.com's usage is laptops. The smartphone proportion will rise though, once users realise it's both feasible and quicker than GPRS, he suggested.

Meanwhile, the giant car-maker claimed that sponsoring the Wi-Fi network fitted in neatly with the new Mondeo's status as its "most technologically-advanced" vehicle so far. However, there is no exemption from the ads for anyone perspicacious enough to already own a Mondeo, nor can the cars themselves go online yet.

"The new Mondeo is striking and unmistakably a member of the Ford family," the company said. "It is the latest and most advanced expression of Ford's 'kinetic design'. The distinctive front end has chamfered corners and a deep offset between the top of the bonnet and the front wings."

It added: "A muscular shoulder line runs through the side of the car to a high point at the rear. Distinctive rear lamps also feature carefully designed graphics that enhance the overall feeling of premium quality."

Hmm. Muscular, kinetic and technologically advanced - it sounds like a gadget geek's wet dream, which is presumably the Ford marketeers' aim.

The hotspots running the Mondeo ads include Meshhopper's former Thames Online network, now rebranded as online-4-free.com, plus free-hotspot.com's UK network of cafés, bars and other locations. ®

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Turnbull: NBN won't turn your town into Silicon Valley
'People have been brainwashed to believe that their world will be changed forever if they get FTTP'
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
Blockbuster book lays out the first 20 years of the Smartphone Wars
Symbian's David Wood bares all. Not for the faint hearted
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.