Accept Connection From “More Bluespamming Debate”?

Some interesting discussion has sprouted around my post on Bluespamming from Friday:

Ewan Macleod:

It’s an ugly, ugly message that most consumers don’t care for. It’s then a hugely underwhelming experience — to be sent a 100×100 shite image. Or some blocky video. You have to pair with the sodding device. It’s just……… it’s a by-hook-or-by-crook marketing method. How many sodding hoops do you want your (potential) customers to jump through so you can get them to view a video on their phones? Please. Stick it on Youtube or something, do the marketing that way. Bluecasting in a theatre? Bluecasting in a street? Oh dear.

Helen Keegan:

I also understand why Avenue Q would use something like bluecasting – there’s no messaging cost to the network operator. This makes it hugely attractive financially. And it is marginally less intrusive than a text message as your mobile number is kept private. And for any marketing campaign, 7% is a good response rate. And after all, we live in a commercial world and if the maths adds up, then the maths adds up.

But you know what, bluecasting will be an interim technology at best.

Tom Hume:

This stuff is balls, it’s the mobile equivalent of paying a man to stand in the street shouting at passers-by in a strong accent few of them can hope to understand, then putting out a press release claiming that 10% of them heard you. And a kick in the eye goes to the next person to justify it to me because it’s “better than direct mail”.

I’m sure there is potential in Bluetooth for interesting marketing applications, which make appropriate use of the technology and treat consumers in a respectful and ethical manner. But this nothing but spamming, even if you buy the IMHO shady legal-on-a-technicality argument.

A couple of interesting points there. As Ewan says, even if you don’t see this as spamming, the user experience isn’t great (and it’s even worse if you try and act responsibly, which hardly provides an incentive). Also, as Tom points out, the supposed legality of bluespamming seems like it comes from a technicality, not the actual spirit of the relevant law — even though Dutch regulators have ruled commercial Bluetooth messages aren’t covered by European anti-spam laws either.

Legality aside, is Bluespamming something companies should really want to be doing? Can they guarantee a user experience that’s not going to end up hurting their brand? And would they ever advertise their products through straight-up email spam?

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