M-commerce joint venture named ‘Weve’

The mobile marketing and wallet joint venture between EE, O2 and Vodafone has unveiled its brand name – “Weve” – as it prepares to open for business and offer its services to advertisers.

“Weve” is said to represent the combination of the trio coming together to work on the project; the bringing together of employees with expertise in disciplines from marketing to technology; and the weaving together of its different products and services.

The brand was created by strategic design agency Someone.

The company will offer brands a “single, consolidated customer base” to run mobile marketing campaigns – such as messaging, location based ads, rich media and video – across the three shareholder operators’ networks.

It will also offer advertisers the opportunity to pay for m-commerce marketing such a coupons and loyalty schemes. It is likely a “Weve”-branded mobile wallet will be launched to consumers in the coming months, although a spokeswoman told Marketing Week this is yet “to be confirmed”.

On Weve’s website, the company says: “Weve joins up every disparate link in the m-commerce chain with a virtuus circle of mobile interactions designed to make life easier for businesses and consumers…Weve is the only m-commerce platform that integrates all these ideas and technologies [such as loyalty, payments, text-based marketing and rich media] into a single, usable platform – a platform available to any business organisation in the UK.”

Weve is looking to hire 150 staff to run the operation, which will include marketing, sales, technologist and account manager roles.

The company is currently led by former Hearst Digital managing director and founder of MyShowcase.com Nancy Cruickshank. It is set to announce a number of additional senior hires in the next couple of months.

The joint venture that founded Weve was given “unconditional clearance” from the European Union to launch its services in September this year.

Observers have voiced concern that the move could have a “damaging impact” on existing ad networks and publishers’ mobile marketing offerings as it would make a “landgrab” of the entire segment.

Last year rival mobile operator Three sent informal representation to the European Commission in a bid to block the joint venture from being approved, arguing it was “anti-competitive” and would curb innovation in the market.

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