Canada Post is recently launched Fetch. The “site is now live”:http://www.fetch4.info.
There was a brief Globetechnology article back on January 25th about the fact that Fetch is being piloted in Calgary (which is somewhat unusual). (The article is no longer on the site)
This quote from the article does a good job of explaining the service at a very high level:
bq. The Fetch service allows a user to set up an account with Canada Post, and input personal contact information in confidence. When users see an advertisement from a company participating in Fetch, they request that information be sent to that on-line account, either by entering a text message on a cellphone, or through an interactive voice system.
bq. Advertisers would pay only when a consumer requests one of their offers, and individuals would pay nothing for the service.
Congrats to Warren and Tim for getting this off the ground after a huge amount of internal work.
It will be very interesting to see how this turns out. My guess is it will be a fundamentally new way of protecting consumer privacy while letting marketing through the veil, or it will be a flop. I doubt there is a half-way for this type of model. I’m hoping for the former as I like the idea of bringing greater interactivity to the offline environment.