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Bluecasting--The Next Spam King

Jason Lee Miller
Staff Writer
Published: 2005-08-23

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What if, in real life, only 15% of the people you approached for a conversation responded to you? You'd probably feel like a shmuck, a social pariah. Fifteen percent is enough to make a direct marketer's thick head spin, and Bluecasting, sending ads via Bluetooth technology to unsuspecting phone-toting passers-by, offers that promise.

Filter UK, an British advertising company, recently tested its Bluecasting (others call it Bluespamming) technology to promote the new Coldplay album. The technique works by sending commercials via transmitters perched in public areas directly to phones with Bluetooth-enabled mobile phones.

Of course, viewing the commercial is not automatic. The consumer is given the option of accepting or declining an invitation to view the ad. The practice has caused a buzz because Filter claims a 15% consumer response rate the solicitations. Compare this, as the folks at Search Views have noted, to the typical 1% response that direct mail generates.

While that number sounds great to marketers, Mike at Tech Dirt reverses that number from marketer-speak to read that the folks at Filter effectively "wasted the time of 85% of the people they spammed."

And really, the annoyance factor, once the bug hits the States, is going to be huge. Just try walking by a shopping mall, a subway station, or a town square, for that matter, without your phone constantly buzzing at your side asking if you want to check out the latest exercise machine from Tony Little. Gives me shivers.

But at least we can count on the fact that products will be developed to block "de-listed" signals one day, defending our right to not be annoyed as we catch our planes.

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About the Author:
Jason L. Miller is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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