Money back rewards “Unlockd” for Tesco customers through ad app


O2 MVNO has partnered with ad and content-funded mobile platform Unlockd to offer reduced bills in return for viewing content

Tesco Mobile has unveiled an exclusive partnership with mobile platform Unlockd that could see customer bills reduced by up to £3 per month.

Unlockd CEO Matt Berriman, left, with Tesco Mobile CEO Anthony Vollmer

The MVNO, which is a 50 per cent JV between the retailer and O2, has launched Tesco Mobile Xtras, which will offer money off in return for geo-targeted advertisements.

It will also provide relevant ads, offers, discounts or content from brands such as British Airways, McDonalds, Doritos and Branston, in return for reduced bills.

Publisher News UK will exclusively provide the advertising inventory for Unlockd in the UK as well as deliver stories from The Sun.

“Tesco Mobile Xtras, powered by Unlockd’s unique platform, provides our customers with more choice and value,” said Tesco Mobile CEO Anthony Vollmer. “The opportunity for our customers to save money on their phone bill in exchange for learning about products and services relevant to them is a first in the UK market and we’re excited to exclusively offer this.”

Unlockd potential


Unlockd was launched in Australia with Lebara Mobile in October. It followed this up with a US launch in association with Sprint in January, and has now launched on the Google Play store in the UK.

Unlockd CEO Matt Berriman said: “Our UK launch exclusively with Tesco Mobile continues to realise our vision to change the way consumers pay for and use their mobile phones.

“This is a huge coup. It is a move that will address existing challenges faced by our partners’ businesses and positively transform both the mobile advertising landscape and telco industry.”

uSwitch analyst Ernest Doku warned that the ads must be relevant or risk annoying customers further.

He said: “Smartphone users aren’t unfamiliar with advertising on handsets – it’s the compromise of many free-to-use apps – so it’s likely cost-conscious customers will be happy to give this a try.

“But whether mobile users are willing to live with ads in return for cheaper bills will depend on how intrusive they are, and how relevant.

“Geolocation will be used to offer promotions for shops and cafes close by. For some, this’ll be too ‘Big Brother’, but others will see the appeal of personalised and timely deals.”