Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
h a l f b a k e r y
Yeah, I wish it made more sense too.

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Sponsored messages

"Hi, this answering machine is sponsored by..."
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"Hi, this answering machine is sponsored by [brandname]. You can leave a message for [your name] when you push the pound key in 10 seconds. [commercial starts and lasts for minutes, eventually you are connected to a salesperson]"

The commercial itself is served from a central server and the ad agency pays a few dollarcents per 'broadcast' commercial, more if people listen to the whole commercial and a % of the sale if a transaction is made.

You can select yourself which companies/products you like and don't like to be advertised on your answering machine. You don't want your friends to listen to bad commercials for bad products. If the caller knows that you have selected the commercial yourself they will listen more carefully to it than to a radiocommercial. And advertisers pay more for such a commercial. A sort of automated worth of mouth system.

rrr, May 27 2002

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       This is quite close to what my Orange and T-Mobile answer services do anyway - both are branded and both allow a degree of interaction by the caller, though neither connect you to either company.
mcscotland, May 27 2002
  

       Or BT land lines, for that matter.
yamahito, May 27 2002
  
      
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