DIRECTWATCH: Callserve mails phone relics

Callserve, the internet telephony facility provider, is highlighting the advantages of internet telephony by sending prospective customers a specially commissioned telephone 'skeleton' in a museum-style display case.

Callserve, the internet telephony facility provider, is highlighting the advantages of internet telephony by sending prospective customers a specially commissioned telephone 'skeleton' in a museum-style display case.

The mailing, headlined 'When did the line die out?', aims to convey the growing presence and opportunity of internet telephony, and its advantages over traditional telephone-based communications.

Callserve, which allows its partners to offer own-brand telephone services, is increasing its direct activity and appointed Lowe Direct to handle its direct marketing earlier this year. The agency commissioned a model-maker from the Natural History Museum to create the skeletons.

Callserve is aiming to cash in on the burgeoning internet telephony market, which a recent US report estimated would grow from a value of dollars 332m (pounds 229m) in 1999 to dollars 5.3bn (pounds 3.65bn) in 2003.

The pan-European company claims to allow its clients, which include leading internet service provider brand World Online and PC manufacturer Packard Bell, to offer calls at significantly lower cost than many established telecoms providers.

'Consumers will spend increasing amounts of time online, so internet telephony is going to boom over the next few years,' said Callserve marketing director Lyle Closs. 'The mailing communicates that traditional telephony is going the way of the dinosaurs and internet telephony is the way of the future.'

The amount of time spent using internet telephony is also predicted to rocket from 2.7 billion minutes last year, to 135 billion in 2004.



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