For many years, there's been talk about the mobile advertising opportunity, with some advertisers practically drooling over the possibility of sending ads directly to users' mobile phones. It wasn't that long ago that the standard example used at many conferences and trade shows was how you'd be walking by a coffee shop and it would send you a text messaging offering you 20% off on a cup of coffee or a free bagel or something. Of course, that ignored the fact that probably 99% of the people hit with that message would consider it intrusive spam, especially if they were on the go. Luckily, though, some early complaints about such services (and the general anger towards spam, popup ads and other intrusive ads) has made it so many mobile advertisers have realized the focus needs to be on pull, rather than push. That is, as people are using mobile phones more and more for local information, there's tremendous value in putting advertisements that might be relevant to users as they're searching -- rather than simply bombarding them at random. The article does note some experiments with more intrusive push advertising, but set up in a way where the end users have a lot more control and say over the conditions under which they actually receive ads, in an attempt to keep them relevant. For once, it's good to hear of some restraint in the ad industry. Hopefully, it remains.
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