Tuesday, April 03, 2007

How not to do mobile marketing via bluetooth

Another grumble today (well, yesterday actually, just getting round to writing it up today having read coverage at Finextra). I spotted on the BBC London evening news last night that HSBC was trialling bluespam bluetooth marketing in London's Regent Street. It seems that if you have your bluetooth switched on, and passed by HSBC on Regent Street, you get sent a bluetooth message with an offer about ISAs.

The BBC reporter interviews several passers-by and not a single one of them wanted to get the message and all felt it was intrusive and definitely spam.

HSBC was not available for comment but said:
"that they're running a small scale trial and the feedback from passers by and customers to date has been very positive."
The reporter aptly pointed out, that the way to *not* get the messages was to turn your bluetooth off (assuming you know where the bluetooth controls are on your phone or that you even have it)!

I'm very suprised that HSBC is running a trial at all for something that is still a very grey area legally. I've written about bluespam before and I still don't see what's legal about sending me a message to my phone that I haven't requested in the context of the laws around electronic marketing. Just because you don't know my phone number doesn't mean you can send me anything you fancy.
Update: One of my readers pointed out to me via email that this 'trial' has been going on for at least a year... now that doesn't sound like a trial to me anymore...
Comments on any of the above anyone?