Fueled by a successful trial of ad-backed Internet phone service FreeWay,
launched in Pittsburgh on April 6, BroadPoint Communications and Duquesne
Enterprises signed a partnership deal with media marketing and sales company
Through Media AdVentures, several top advertisers have already joined the
ranks of FreeWay sponsors, including Blockbuster Entertainment, The Wall Street
Journal and Acura, bringing the total number of FreeWay advertisers to more than 30, the companies said.
FreeWay allows subscribers to make free long distance calls in the U.S. in
exchange for listening to 10- to 15-second commercial messages tailored to
their particular interests.
“The success of our trial has been driven by the simple fact that both
consumers and advertisers want FreeWay to succeed,” said Perry Kamel,
BroadPoint’s CEO. Membership in the limited trial already has exceeded 10,000,
the company said.
“Nearly 10 percent of our members have contacted us just to thank us for providing
the service,” said Martin Healy, vice president of consumer marketing at
BroadPoint. “Many of them also express their appreciation for the sponsors who
make the service possible.”
And advertisers would appear to be happy, too. “Eagle’s Eye has had an
unprecedented response rate of 27 percent from our FreeWay campaign for ladies
sweaters,” said Devon Colby of Eagle’s Eye Sportswear, a charter FreeWay
“After a full three months in the market, the average household income of
FreeWay members remains over $60,000 per year, more than 70 percent higher than the
Pittsburgh average,” said Thomas Hurkmans, president of Duquesne Enterprises,
an affiliate of Pittsburgh-based Duquesne Light Co.
The companies are teaming up with Chicago-based Media AdVentures to accelerate
the adoption of the new medium among top advertisers.
“Media AdVentures brings an uncommon blend of expertise in interactive and
audio media. The two companies are very well suited to working together in
this exciting new domain,” said Lisa Baker, vice president of media marketing
A national roll-out is being planned, but the service is currently available
only to residents of greater Pittsburgh.
Residents of Pittsburgh and surrounding areas can subscribe to FreeWay by
accessing BroadPoint’s Web site or by calling
BroadPoint’s toll-free subscription hotline at 888/4FREEWAY.
BroadPoint has partnered with Duquesne Enterprises in introducing FreeWay, the
first in a series of sponsored communications services. The company plans to
extend the concept into new venues including wireless and multimedia