Miss World to introduce global text voting

Miss World is launching a worldwide text voting initiative, which will enable viewers anywhere in the world to have a say as to who wins the famous beauty contest.

In one of the biggest wireless marketing campaigns to date, all votes registered between 18 November and 6 December via a GSM mobile phone will contribute to The Global Audience Text Vote. This will count for half of the total votes. A panel of judges compiles the other 50 per cent.

Every vote cast will qualify for an entry into the draw for a trip for two to Miss World 2003, to be held in China. The campaign is being produced and managed by Regenerator and the wireless marketing specialist Flytxt.

Miss World 2002 is to be held in Nigeria on 6 December and is expected to attract a global audience of more than two billion people from 130 countries. However, it has attracted controversy, with several entrants threatening to boycott the event after a Nigerian court sentenced a woman to be stoned to death for adultery.

The texting campaign marks the beginning of a three-year agreement, which will see Regenerator and Flytxt operate text voting campaigns for the 2003 and 2004 Miss World finals.

Lars Becker, the chief executive of Flytxt, said: "This is the most ambitious project that the wireless sector has undertaken to date and we are incredibly excited about being one of the companies that is helping to make this happen."

Julia Morley, the chairman of Miss World Organisation, added: "For the first time in 52 years, everyone can have their say in selecting Miss World."