BT Texters First To Choose “Sender Gender”

People sending BT Text messages to landlines will for the first time have the choice of having them read out by a male or female voice from May 1, 2006. This new option will replace the voice of former Dr Who Tom Baker, which was introduced at the end of January 2006 for a special three-month period.

BT research shows that people need to think carefully when choosing a male or female voice to deliver their texts. Seven out of ten people think male voices are better for telling jokes. Male voices were considered more “powerful” and better for disciplining children. Female voices were described as more “comforting”, “truthful” and “persuasive” than male voices.

Tom Baker’s iconic voice proved an instant hit with BT texters, with the number of texts sent to landlines rising by sixty-nine per cent in the first week of the promotion alone. To date, more than 11 million texts have been sent to landlines delivered in Tom’s dulcet tones.

Wendy McMillan, BT general manager, Consumer, said: “Tom Baker has been a huge success and a great way to introduce a new audience to BT Text.

“As the technology develops we want to give people the option to have their texts delivered to landlines in a gender that is the same as their own – or one they think will be more effective depending on the message they’re sending!

“But if people haven’t yet had their fill of Tom Baker, they’ve still got more than a week to enjoy pretending to be ‘The Doctor’.”