Verizon To Put Ads On Your Phone

From The New York Times: “Beginning early next year, Verizon Wireless will allow placement of banner advertisements on news, weather, sports and other Internet sites that users visit and display on their mobile phones, company executives said.”

The Times goes on to give some examples of ads that have appeared on mobile phones in the past. “The ads have tended to involve simple banners or text messages, like those connected to the “American Idol” show, in which consumers are urged to send in a vote. Or they have offered digital coupons, like those that allow Dunkin’ Donut customers to show a coupon on their phone at the counter to get a 99 cent latte.”

Wow, a latte. So what is the future of cell phone advertising? “David Goodrich, director of digital for the West Coast region for OMD, an ad agency, said he did not believe mobile advertising could be particularly effective until marketers could regularly and easily buy space for video clips.

Advertisers “are crazed to get information” onto the phones, Mr. Goodrich said. But the effectiveness “will be really limited until you’ve enabled site[sic], sound and motion.”

Fantastic, we can not properly express the rage we will feel if our cell phone ever plays a video clip that shills Dunkin’ Donuts Lattes while we’re just trying to check the weather. Sigh. Are we alone on this? —MEGHANN MARCO

Verizon to Allow Ads on Its Mobile Phones [New York Times]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Aeroracere says:

    Is this yet another thing we can get our Verizon contracts terminated over?

  2. pronell says:

    So exactly what discount would their customers be offered? I’m sure this wasn’t in the contract they signed. Oh, wait, it doesn’t matter, they can change the contract any time they want to.

    What a screwed up business climate.

    Something that irritates me even more, though, are the animated graphical billboards. They make it difficult to even see the road at night. Makes me so glad that the people who own the land adjacent to the freeway can profit at the expense of my safety.

  3. TedSez says:

    “Hi, Mom? It’s Ted –“

    “–We interrupt this call for a special announcement! Get a super-large latte at Dunkin’ Donuts for just 99 cents! Yummy!”

    “Ted, is that you? What’s going on?”

    “Sorry, Mom, they’ve got this new thing where they play ads–“

    “Mmmm, mmmm, good! Mmmm, mmm, good! That’s what Campbell’s Soup is, mmmm, mmm, good!”

    “Ted, what’s happening? Are you coming over?”

    “I’d better call you back on a land line–“

    “Verizon! We never stop working for you!”


  4. weave says:

    I pay $20/month for unlimited internet through t-mobile (albeit the grandfathered plan that doesn’t include hotspots). With that I can tether from any external device or browse the net from my phone directly, including read/send email.

    I also (ok, I can’t risk not having net access) pay for unlimited internet access through Verizon for $60/month so I can tether my laptop to the phone over bluetooth and get net access that way. *BUT* even though it’s 3x the price, I can NOT browse the internet from the phone (an extra $5/month) nor watch the silly vcast stuff (an extra $15/month although I think that includes mobile web). Oh, even if I got all of that, it still does NOT include reading email on the phone. For that you have to “get it now” and pay a monthly rental for the email app.

    Point is, ah, “Verizon sucks.” Soon as t-mobile gets 3G rolled out, I’m bailing Verizon. I’m also tired of their crippled phones.

  5. Considering what a premium cell carriers charge for every kb transmitted on their network, this sounds asinine.

    I already cancelled Concast for putting ads on the guide menu, if Verizon does this, it’ll be bye bye to them as well.

  6. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    And, I suppose the consumer will have the pleasure of paying for the bandwidth for these advertisements?

    So, if you have the Verizon “unlimited” data plan and you watch the Dunkin’ Donuts video clip over and over, will they terminate your plan because you’re downloading donut porn?

    –Sound of dialing

    –(canned voice) You’re call to (pause) *nine-one-one* will be connected shortly. But first, please stay on the line for an important announcement from out sponsor*

  7. CTSLICK says:

    Sigh…I suppose this was bound to happen but I have to say that I am not looking forward to dancing baloney on my phone. I’ll really get belligerent if they start doing these accursed ads that impede your progress to a page or website. I also wonder what this portends for 3rd party browsers like Opera Mini…will the phone companies force them to play along in their little scheme?

  8. pestie says:

    Good lord, no, you are most definitely not alone on this! I’m glad I own an “ancient” (by the cell industry’s standard) phone (a Samsung SPH-i330 phone/PalmOS handheld). It may not have many whiz-bang features or anything, but it’s also much less “locked in” as far as software goes. It’s harder for anyone to shove new “features” down my throat than it is with newer phones.

    I really despise advertising. I was an early Tivo adopter for exactly that reason, but even before my DVR days, I used to mute the audio on the TV during commercials. I can’t stand FM radio, and XM’s lack of commercials (on what I listen to, anyway) is a major reason why I had it installed in my vehicle. My browser is configured to block ads very effectively. But still, despite all this effort, advertising is creeping into more and more aspects of life, and is getting harder and harder to avoid. Maybe it’s because I have a hard time filtering out background noise of any sort, but I feel under assault from this “ads everywhere” phenomenon, and it pisses me off.

    OK, the rant’s over — for now.

  9. Papa K says:

    Wait, add’l downloaded content = higher cost of browsing (the whole .002 dollars vs. cents, right?), so they’re forcing you to download more, costing you more, while making them twice as much money?

    The only reason I have Veribone is because they’re the only service that kind of works where my family is. Of course, find me a cell phone service that doesn’t suck ass and we’ll talk…

  10. synergy says:

    “will be really limited until you’ve enabled site, sound and motion.”

    I hope this isn’t something he wrote because last time I checked “site” is a location whereas the word usually used in this context is “sight” for something you see with your eyeballs.

    That aside, there’s a good reason I only use a cellphone as, you know, a phone.

  11. Keter says:

    This is yet another asinine strategy to sell more stuff that actually ends up losing people’s business. (Wake up MBAs! You are not being clever if you are pissing off your customers.)

    I’m out of contract with Cingular, so I was already considering what I was going to do next…sounds like my next phone is going to be the barest-bones phone-only type. I have the cheapest plan already because I just don’t talk that much.

    I usually have a laptop with me and know of a number of nice free hotspots (I may get a Sprint cell modem later if it looks like I’ll need it), so I don’t need *any* data services on my cell phone. Text messaging via phone is for kiddies, and most tech employers ban camera phones.

    So…the simple solution is to see where I can cut back even more…cheaper and simpler for me, avoid the hoo-hah entirely, and my $ can speak eloquently if anyone’s listening.

  12. orielbean says:

    The corps will whine that their costs are increasing, and so to avoid passing the increase to you, the shithead who foolishly became their product, you will have to sit through the ads. And they clean up like madmen. The future of communication is looking pretty bleak to me, folks.

  13. Papercutninja says:

    I love the two-faced stories that these companies tell. On one hand, they tell their customers that the ads will be small and unobtrusive (you won’t even notice them!). Then they turn around and tell the companies buying ads and saying how effective this marketing tool is and how many people it will reach.

    So which one is it? Will we not notice the ads and therefore they’re useless? Or will they be in your face and force you to click? You can’t have it both ways, Verizon.

  14. Fuzzy_duffel_bag says:

    if people’s phones start ringing in that “perhaps Fritalian” jingle, I cannot be held responsible for my subsequent killing spree.

  15. snowferret says:

    The longer i wait to get a cell the less I want one.

  16. Citron says:

    You know, I took a focus group survey about this exact thing about a year ago. Even though my responses had the reek of ad-loathing, I can’t help but feel somehow responsible for this.

    Did anyone in that focus group answer, “Hey . . . Yeah! I LOVE advertisements!”? I don’t think these guys are actually paying attention to anyone but themselves.