Free beer anyone?

Users are asked to ring a number and are then forwarded several text messages containing questions, with three answers to choose from for each.

The project is the result of US-based marketing firm Agency.com teaming with UK brewer Interbrew to provide what they claim is the world's first real-time text messaging quiz across 500 pubs in the UK.

Once a player answers three consecutive questions correctly they will receive a special code. They can then present this code to bar staff who will verify it before handing over a pint of Heineken.

"Text message game prizes have to be immediate or massive. We are developing a system that allows real-time fulfilment for many small prizes," said Justin Moodie, European director of Agency.com.

Agency.com might get lucky with some of the country's biggest players. "Although we are not part of this scheme in theory, it seems a positive thing," said a Tesco spokesperson. "Anything [that] creates interaction between the store and the customer has to be beneficial."

So hold on to your mobile - before long hundreds of stores could be offering you the chance to win freebies, as well as bombarding you with text messages.

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Wendy Brewer

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