Advertisers Want to Text You

The do-not-call list added hurdles to telemarketers trying to cold call to sell you vinyl siding. Then Tivo slowed down television advertising. Spam-filters, as much as they still kinda suck, are constantly being tweaked to limit the influx of marketing to your inbox. That leaves texting, the last great frontier in intrusive advertising.

But for many mobile phone users, this could go beyond merely being a nuisance. Sure, there’s the lost time factor, as each adver-text costs you precious time on this earth, as you reach for your phone, hoping for a sexy note from your lover, only to find a note from WalMart, announcing a rollback on Black and Decker toaster ovens.

Even worse, this is marketing that could cost you money. Unlike Europe, where the caller or texter tends to foot the bill, American texters AND textees pay. If marketers start peppering you with their messages, your texting plan could go into overage rather quickly.

Time for a Do-Not-Text List? Until then, be careful when giving away your cell phone number. You don’t want to opt into any marketing scheme that will cost you money down the road.

Advertising through text messaging appears ready to explode nationwide [AP via Tucson Citizen]


Edit Your Comment

  1. xboxishuge says:

    Don’t you only get charged if you actually open the message, though?

    At least with my phone, and this wasn’t the case with the old one, I can see who the message is from before I read it, and just delete the damned thing if it’s an ad for boner pills or mortgage rates or penny stocks or whatever.

  2. Hooray4Zoidberg says:

    You get charged for just recieving the message I believe, I don’t think it matter if you read it or not.

    This kind of advertising seems really ineffective. At least with spam and pop up ads you can lure someone to your website by having them click a link and with a cold phone call you might talk them into buying something. But with a text based one way ad it will be extremly difficult to convince people to check out your product and I think most companies will abandon the idea.

    There are of course always those few annoying ones that will never go away. To that I say we need to invoke the death penalty for convicted spammers.

  3. RandomHookup says:

    One of the divisions of my current company is a text messaging firm. If I remember correctly, the receipt of a message is what triggers billing for US carriers, not the actual sending.

  4. zingbot says:

    And I just got my first text spam the other day. It stunk because there was nothing I could really do about it. I felt hurt, violated, blah, blah, blah……

    But really, why DO we still pay to recieve texts? Verizon is making bank off this since they charge more than the others (25 cents each after the allowance?)

  5. ApathyGirl says:

    There’s a billboard for Absolut: Featuring Lenny Kravitz along the Hollywood freeway that sends a song clip (and by song, I mean ad) via Bluetooth to any compatible device in range. Every time you’re in range. It’s been there for months. MONTHS!

  6. Kat says:

    Zingbot – why didn’t you call up your carrier and say you got a spam text and see if they’d refund you the 25 cents (or if you have a texting plan, credit you a message?)

    Actually, H4Z, text messages can contain links, and if your cell phone’s browser is functional…

  7. informer says:

    Text message spam is more effective than you think. A couple years ago, there was a college kid in Hawaii who text spammed a bunch of people about ultra-low airfare and a bunch of people sent him money despite the fact he had no airline, FAA approval, etc.