News relevant to mobile marketers this week is that South African network operators have confirmed there are no plans to block ads at the mobile network level. This news came as concern is said to be growing in the mobile marketing industry regarding the potential impact of ad blockers. It is interesting to note that the world’s self-proclaimed ‘number one ad blocker’ has hit over 200 million downloads.
In the UK, and also announced this week, is the news that millions of mobile phone users can now send a free text message to opt-out of unsolicited sales and marketing calls under a new campaign by that country’s telecoms watchdog. Calling potential customers who are also mobile users completely out of the blue was perhaps the first – really basic – example of unregulated mobile marketing in practice.
Thankfully, things have moved on from there. Well, at least in South Africa where this country leads in responsible mobile marketing. Not only do we have all the applicable legislation nicely in place like the ECT, POPI and Consumer Protection Acts, we have a very effective industry association in the form of WASPA (The Wireless Application Service Providers’ Association of SA). Parliamentary Portfolio Committees, ICASA and others add to the significant oversight that exists when it comes to the greater mobile sector in South Africa.
So while all this recent talk of clamping down on certain practices is interesting, it is certainly not alarming for responsible mobile marketers that are already involved in the self-regulation of the industry here and also comply with the existing laws of the land.
Rogue operators will continue to sell bogus investments, package holidays that do not exist, and so on, using the mobile medium. But, as established firms like InTarget and others know, that doesn’t make them mobile marketers!