Two-Way Street

Cell Phone Ads: Do You Think They're Evil?


Can you think of anything more annoying than getting an ad on your cell phone? And what if you get an ad when you are just walking down the street minding your own business, and happen to pass a particular store?

This type of "targeted advertising" will happen. Not yet...but CBS is experimenting with the technology, according to this nifty piece from the New York Times. But where there is an experiment there usually comes implementation. And since retailers are getting a little desperate, I imagine some of them will seize on it. I wonder if that would be wise from a business standpoint or not. Would love to hear your take on

To me, such ads would probably be down around the third or fourth level of annoyance hell. But I tend to be grumpy about things. I hate my cell phone. It buzzes at the wrong time and it is rarely good news. But, like a tetanus shot, you got to have it.

And I hate ads. Okay, Super Bowl type ads are funny...but those are the exception, not the rule. I certainly don't want to be bugged by them on my cell phone. Luckily in this particular experiment, you have to opt in to get them. but I'm not sure it will stay that way.

From an investment viewpoint though, I could see them working for particular types of retailers, like Hot Topic or Pacific Sunwear. Those that cater to the teen crowd, for example. Most teens I see these days have a cell phone firmly attached to some part of their anatomy. And they are very fashion conscious.

From parent and consumer viewpoint though, it makes me want to scream. How about you?

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