Bluetooth Spam from Coca-Cola



Bluetooth spam. It's been debated for a long time, but it looks like it's becoming a reality in the UK now that the ICO say marketers do not need opt-in consent - although the DMA differs in opinion.

I was quietly sat in a London restaurant when my phone bleeped into action. Would I like to receive a Bluetooth message from "Coca-Cola".

I was curious and I accepted the message - I fully expected it to be a prank and that I would receive Tub Girl or worse...

What I actually got was an image, an MP3 of the Coke theme and a 3GP movie of a Coke advert. (I figure if they're spamming them to all and sundry, I can distribute them as well...)

It's an effective advertising campaign. While I don't care for the mp3, I'm sure lots of kids will enjoy it. I even thought that the video was rather funny.

I'm in two minds about this....

1) I did consent to receive the advert. If I'd clicked "no" I wouldn't have been bothered by it again. It's pretty much the same as a Big Issue vendor asking if I want to buy a copy.

2) On the other hand, if every shop was blasting out messages, I'd be a bit pissed off. Rather than a couple of Big Issue vendors, I'd be assaulted by a team of chuggers.

However, in this case, I can solve all my problems by turning my bluetooth off or setting it to non-discoverable.

For now, it's not a problem. It's low volume and trivial to avoid. But what happens when someone starts hacking your non-discoverable phone and starts sending offensive images in the name of "Pepsi Cola"?

What would King Harald make of it?

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7 thoughts on “Bluetooth Spam from Coca-Cola

  1. That's pretty cool Terence! I'm hopelessly curious so I'd definitely accept a bluetooth request from anything that looks legit enough... at the risk of, as you suggested, being faced with 2 girls 1 cup!

    I find it interesting you were bluespammed while in a restaurant - I wonder where the boundaries of taste and privacy are as far as spamming people while having a quiet romantic meal?

    I guess we'll just need to remember to turn off discoverable if we want some peace and quiet.

    Vero
    http://www.thatcanadiangirl.co.uk

  2. Nicely put, but don’t care for the use of the word spamming.

    Spamming is illegal; Bluetooth marketing is not, the two should not be put together if you want to avoid potential litigation.

    Please rename your heading.

    Armando Coletta
    BlueBroadcast.com
    10/01/08

  3. Armando,

    Surely by the act of sending unwanted and unsolicited electronic messages whether by Bluetooth or text messaging is spamming? Is it not abuse of electronic messaging systems?

    It can be especially irritating to customers who do not wish to have their phone used as free advertising, to say the least.

    My Bluetooth always turned on because my hands free kit in my car is Bluetooth and I don't want to have to turn it on and connect every time I get into my car. Some people would say it’s just like handing out leaflets, to which I can say no to, but if I have my phone on blue tooth then I cannot say no.

  4. Difficult one to solve, is Bluetooth marketing Spamming? I'm sure Armando doesn't want to be called a Spammer, but does the general public want to be Blue-hassled?

    In the UK, the Information Commision has said sending items over the Bluetooth airwaves isn't regulated and as such, isn't spam.

    Our Happy Packages Project is finding that people are in the mindset it's spam, so won't accept it unless it's backed up with some sort of Pervasive Relations

    Thought Pie think, as long as there are some Pervasive Relations around the site and you operate a weekly refreshed 'black-list' (list of people who've refused 3 times so you don't attempt re-send) then Bluetooth Marketing is great!

    Remember, a plant in your garden is only a weed when you don't want it.

  5. I have worked on dozens of Bluetooth Marketing campaigns and spoken to hundreds of different people about their experiences with Bluetooth. I have spent the last 6 months in daily contact with clients around the UK helping them to manage their BT campaigns. As a result I have received a wealth of feedback pertaining to every conceivable aspect of this type of marketing. It occured to me that the issue of Bluespamming has never been mentioned. With the exception of the guys in the next office to us we have not received word of a single complaint in regard to this subject.

    Since beginning my employment at Fantastic Media I have only ever had positive responses from people receiving the Bluetooth content and can only conclude that this really isn't a problem here in the UK.

    The majority of people who receive a Bluetooth Marketing request will ignore it. Either through choice or because they were unaware of it. Some people will decline the message and a lot of devices will automatically decline such as Sat Navs and headsets etc. A smaller quantity of people will accept the content that they are being offered and choose to view it, store it or delete it.

    Whatever the outcome nobody has ever complained about the alerts, to the contrary it seems that people are eager to receive free content with the most common support request we receive being a request to reverse a phone that declined the initial alert because the end user wants the ad after all.

    We have a London network containing over 100 Bluetooth Marketing sites all at street level. with a variety of advertisers offering their products and promotions around the clock.. None of these Hotspots are attracting complaint from the millions of people walking by every day. The Bluetooth Advertising Industry has created work for programmers, developers, salespeople, hardware suppliers, manufacturers, resellers and Enrepeneurs. Because of it's limitations it offers the same affordable solution to the small business owner as it does to the corporate client.

    A South London Taxi firm sends Business Cards by Bluetooth to their passengers. Now running in all 300 vehicles the initial trial was abandoned prematurely after their customers complained if there WASN'T BlueBroadcaster messages being sent when they got in the cab.

    Bluetooth Marketing is good for business and as a glorious advertisement for free speech it enables any individual use a cost free frequency to send their chosen message to passers by without the need for a licence or a permit from the council.
    One guy sends out "Have a nice day" and nothing else.

    Kind Regards

    Matthew

  6. I just want to reiterate what Matthew said. We develop our own Bluetooth marketing software in house and our main problem is getting the ads out fast enough due to the limitations of Bluetooth technology. Our customers are very egar to get the advertisements as usually it involves them getting something for nothing.

    This article is a joke.

  7. Matthew wrote:
    "Bluetooth Marketing is good for business and as a glorious advertisement for free speech it enables any individual use a cost free network to send their chosen message to passers by without the need for a licence or a permit from the council. One guy sends out “Have a nice day” and nothing else."

    Robert Smith wrote:
    "I just want to reiterate what Matthew said. We develop our own Bluetooth marketing software in house and our main problem is getting the ads out fast enough due to the limitations of Bluetooth technology. Our customers are very egar to get the advertisements as usually it involves them getting something for nothing."

    These arguments are just as true if you replace the word "Bluetooth" with "E-Mail".

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