Cell Phones: The Ads Are Coming

The New York Times has a rundown of the future of cell phone advertising, and it seems pretty bleak:

    Cellular phone carriers like Verizon, Sprint and Cingular, now the new AT&T, are beginning to test and roll out advertising on mobile phone screens, and by next year, cellphone advertising is likely to be more common.

    In exchange, the companies say, their subscribers will enjoy improved mobile Internet services and content provided free or at reduced prices. Other companies like Virgin Mobile USA and Amp’d Mobile are taking the idea a step further, rewarding customers for viewing ads by lowering their cellphone bills.

The Times remains in good spirits, but the thought of ads on our cellphone makes us want to curl up into a ball and cry, “free content” or no.—MEGHANN MARCO

Madison Avenue Calling [New York Times]