(Mis)Uses of Technology

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
mobile ads, pull, push, spam

clear channel

Mobile Advertisers Can't Resist Thinking That A Single Call To Action Means Universal Rights To Bug People

from the pull,-not-push dept

For years, we've been trying to convince advertisers that mobile advertising needs to be about "pull" rather than "push" advertising. Since mobile users are "on the go" and often busy with something else, interrupting them with their mobile phone is going to be seen as a tremendous intrusion, often pissing off most recipients. Instead, the focus should be on setting up situations where the ads are effectively "called" by the user who is specifically looking for something (think Google ads, rather than pop up ads). For example, having a billboard that offers someone something if they punch in a code on their phone. Or, perhaps, making it easy for someone to proactively check if there are discounts at nearby coffee shops -- rather than simply bombarding them with offers as they pass-by coffee shops.

Unfortunately, it looks like some advertisers are only getting half of the message. While they understand the importance of there being some kind of "call to action" by the user to initiate any kind of advertising relationship, many seem to think that after that initial call to action, users are more open to receiving ongoing communications. That's unlikely to be true -- as many users may want a particular type of communication at one time, but will not be in the mood to get something similar the next day when they're in a rush to get somewhere. The companies pay lip service to not bothering people by saying things like: "If there is no response after several times, the phone will stop sending alerts." However, by that point, you've already annoyed the person "several times" after they only opted-in to hear what you had to say once. It's hard to see how that's beneficial at all.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    agoraphobe, Nov 27th, 2007 @ 7:17pm

    you know the old saying

    Give em' an inch and they'll take a mile. Advertisers are all about pushing the boundaries of what's acceptable.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 27th, 2007 @ 7:31pm

    Any company that has pushy tactics for advertising, I avoid.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Mobile Monkey, Nov 27th, 2007 @ 9:04pm

    You Assume too much

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Paul, Nov 28th, 2007 @ 1:18am


    In the UK any decent company should remove you from their list if you reply with the text STOP. 9/10 will remove you after one STOP message.

    Not all do unfortunately. It would be nice to know where to report those offenders.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    Killer_Tofu (profile), Nov 28th, 2007 @ 6:00am

    In a Way

    In a way it is beneficial, as any company that does this will annoy people, and therefor the less business, driving them out of business (hopefully).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Gunnar, Nov 28th, 2007 @ 7:02am

    I never get ads on my phone, but people who do -- and are bothered by them -- should try to contact the company being advertised and politely inform them that the mobile ad is why they will never, ever shop at that establishment.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Driving distracted, Nov 28th, 2007 @ 9:23am

    What if.....

    What if you are driving and get distracted by the call and/or txt message and cause a bus full of Nuns off a cliff? Lawsuit perhaps?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Brad, Nov 29th, 2007 @ 3:20pm

    Re: What if.....

    You can try, but unless you are a large company, don't expect to be able to shift blame very effectively.

    I'd be much more worried about the church coming after me than trying to sue a commercial provider.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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