FCB Seeks to Integrate Phones, Barcodes

Foote Cone & Belding has struck a deal to weave barcodes and other product codes into its clients’ mobile campaigns in the U.S. and overseas.

Through an agreement with wireless developer PaperClick, a unit of NeoMedia, the Interpublic agency plans to integrate mobile marketing programs with physical media and product packaging. The relationship will mainly be implemented through FCBi, Foote Cone & Belding’s interactive and direct marketing arm.

The PaperClick platform lets mobile users click through to a site by using their handset to capture a barcode. The technology, which requires the installation of software on a handset, is compatible with UPC, ISBN and other product codes. Product codes can either be photographed with a camera phone or entered manually by the user.

“With PaperClick, a brand can instantly let a targeted customer enter a contest, buy a movie ticket or get a coupon through their mobile devices,” said Pam Larrick, chairman and CEO of FCBi, in a statement.

The deal calls for NeoMedia and FCB to jointly develop marketing campaigns that use PaperClick. NeoMedia will offer strategic, technology and sales support to the agency’s clients, which include Yum! Brands, Hewlett-Packard, and Kraft Foods.

“They have a great client base,” said NeoMedia chairman Charles Fritz. “The world is starting to wake up to the idea of taking physical objects and [linking them with the Internet].”

NeoMedia rolled out the PaperClick platform in 2004. The company would not disclose the number of user-end software installations, or the number of advertisers who have signed on to use it. Financial and other terms of the FCB relationship were not disclosed.

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