Ads between telephone rings

I can only imagine how annoying it would be to have to listen to advertisements between rings whenever you phoned someone. And unfortunately the technology to do this has been developed. Neil Sleevi was granted a patent for it in 1989 (Patent No. 4,811,382), and Bell Atlantic promptly bought the rights to it.

Omni - Dec 1991

Faced with public outcry, Bell Atlantic subsequently claimed that, even though they did buy the rights to the patent, they never had any intention of inserting ads between telephone rings, dismissing the entire notion as a silly rumor. But I'm pretty sure they would have done it if they had thought they could get away with it.

Baltimore Sun - Dec 14, 1991

     Posted By: Alex - Sun Jan 02, 2022
     Category: Technology | Telephones | Advertising | Patents | 1990s

Oh! How I hate the phone! You just know Al Bell is rolling in his grave. Either that or some telemarketer is trying to get ahold of him.
Posted by KDP on 01/02/22 at 12:01 PM
Seems like the kind of thing people might pay a premium for to disable. 😉
Posted by Brian on 01/02/22 at 12:50 PM
As teenagers, when looking for something bizzare to do with little effort, we would phone a number we called "Crosswires." It gave a perpetual busy signal, but all callers could hear each other between the buzzes. Timing your words, you could ask (shout, really) if they had Prince Albert in a can, tell girls to call your number (they did), scream obcenities, whatever.
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 01/02/22 at 12:56 PM
Sounds like something a phone company could charge an additional fee to make sure this feature wasn't included in a phone service plan. Maybe Bell Atlantic brought the rights to this to increase profit to not use it.
Posted by Teri on 01/02/22 at 11:57 PM
Id pay 9$ to have my ads in everybodies ear from the phone book too. Where do these people get their ideas of what they should pay from. Not the thousands listening to tripe. That would be $10 EACH.
Posted by John on 01/04/22 at 09:02 AM
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