What Happens When You Combine Telemarketing And Spam?

from the ugh dept

The national “do not call” list is cutting out large portions of the telemarketing market. The government is finally getting serious about spam (though, their legal solution so far looks like it won’t do much good). So, what do marketers do? They adapt, and try to figure out a system that doesn’t violate either system. In the end, it looks like we may end up with a system that combines the worst of both, but is entirely legal. Marketers are drooling over the ability to use so-called “short codes” in the US to convince consumers to register to receive regular spam promotional text messages on their mobile phones. Companies are shoving each other aside to register special five digit numbers you can call and sign yourself up to receive the marketing messages. The trick, of course, is that the numbers always come associated with some sweepstakes or prize, so people who aren’t thinking about what they’re getting themselves into sign up to receive their one-in-a-billion chance to win something not all that valuable. In exchange, they give up their right not to be bothered. While the marketing companies insist that they won’t abuse their ability to market to people directly on their mobile phones, they don’t have a strong history of living up to that. When given an open slate to market to consumers, they’re known to fill every last nanometer of it with marketing messages – and I expect this will be no different.

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