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October 10, 2007


Graham Hill


Another great post.

I am not particularly interested in having ads pushed to either of my two mobile phones. I have nothing against advertising, in fact, I am a strong supporter of businesses being able to advertise freely, just not in my face. And that's the problem. The history of advertising strongly suggests that that is exactly what will happen. Mobile telcos will rent access to my mobile phone to the highest bidding advertiser to push whatever they want to sell in my face. Don't be fooled into thinking that the ads will be relevant; the mobile telcos and their advertisers don't know anywhere enough about me, my buying behaviour and the situation I find myself in at that particular moment in time, to have a hope of knowing what is relevant to me. The existing tragedy of the advertising commons will rapidly expand to become the tragedy of the mobile advertising commmons.

What would make me change my mind? The only thing would be giving me complete control over what ads I am sent and a reward for provided access to my mobile phone, irrespective of whether I looked at an ad and clicked through or not. This could be done centrally by the mobile telco through an ad serving business rules engine that I could use to dynamically control the rules that decide what ads I would accept. Rewards could be deducted from my monthly invoice. Ultimately, this could be done with ad managing software installed on my mobile phone that I could use to control the ad serving rules directly.

The idea that the customer should control their own marketing destiny is taken up further by two blogs: Doc Searls' ProjectVRM blog ( at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and Alan Mitchell's Right Side Up blog ( at the Buyer Centric Commerce Forum.

Graham Hill
Independent CRM Consultant
Interim CRM Manager

Graham Hill

Tomi, I mean Alan. Oops, Sorry.

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