Come On Kids, Get Your PhoneBrain In Gear
Industry regulator PhonepayPlus has launched a consumer confidence campaign aimed at secondary schools, and designed to increase trust in the premium mobile content industry. As part of the campaign schoolchildren will have the chance to create their own ringtone, and to come up with their own idea for a phone-paid service business idea.
PhoneBrain is a curriculum-based ICT and Enterprise schools programme, available to all secondary schools and youth/education centres across the UK, to teach young people aged 13-18 about how to use phone-paid services safely. The aim is to build trust in the phone-paid industry by giving young consumers the information they need to be able to make informed purchasing decisions.
Working with Ministry of Sound, the Peter Jones Foundation and the Government-sponsored enterprise body Make Your Mark, PhonepayPlus says that PhoneBrain combines real educational needs, while tapping into young people’s passions. The youth education programme will help pupils learn about the opportunities and threats afforded by the £1 billion premium mobile content market, and how they can protect themselves and their friends and family from the few providers that employ misleading text promotions, or overcomplicated terms and conditions.
Recent research commissioned by PhonepayPlus shows that, in 2008, 47% of 11-17 year olds will have used these services every day to download ringtones and other mobile personalisation products, or to use one of the many other phone-paid services on offer. According to PhonepayPlus, most enjoy using them and never come to harm. Unfortunately, however, some others are subject to scams and misleading marketing practices.
“Chargeable promotional messages, misleading pricing and unclear subscription charges have brought increased negative perceptions around the phone-paid service industry among some young people and their parents,” says PhonepayPlus Acting CEO, Paul Whiteing. “We want to make sure that anyone can use phone-paid services with absolute confidence, and the schools programme will help us to do that. It’s an ambitious project, but one we are confident will mean that young people get the phone-paid service they wanted, at the price they expected to pay. This will breed trust and potentially pave the way for growth in the market.”
As part of the programme, students will create and be able to download their own animated ringtone using audio-visual content provided by Ministry of Sound artists. Young entrepreneurs will also be given the chance to enter their own ‘Dragons’ Den’ with the help of full Enterprise lesson plans, a business plan template and inspirational real-life cases studies – all available on the PhoneBrain website.
Teenagers are challenged to come up with their own phone-paid service idea – the kind of thing they and their friends would love to use but is not currently available – and to create an accompanying business plan. These business plans can then be entered into a nationwide competition for the chance to pitch to Peter Jones from Dragons’ Den – and get involved with the new National Enterprise Academy.