UK Mobile Marketers Debut Conduct Code

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After six months of development, Britain's Mobile Marketing Association has introduced a self-regulatory code of conduct for the wireless marketing industry in that country.

The guidelines take into account others from industry bodies like the UK Direct Marketing Association to help in creating mobile marketing campaigns. The code also meets the requirements of the European Union's Privacy & Electronic Communications directive that took effect Dec. 11.

"The two main strands of the new code are a framework attempting to make all the laws and regulation that apply to mobile marketing comprehensible, and the second strand is it lays out best practices," said Lars Becker, CEO of London mobile marketing firm Flytxt and chairman of the Mobile Marketing Association.

A 30-page book in a question-and-answer format, the code is available at, with plans next year for creating more awareness. It draws on the experience of MMA members, commenting even where the law is silent.

For example, it states the minimum frequency for reiterating opt-out instructions and the time of day for dispatching marketing communications. There is a recommendation to upgrade to opt-ins from soft opt-ins as well as detailed guidance on marketing to children.

The code also states that each message must clearly identify the original source where consumers opted in. This becomes critical when brands sell their databases to third-party advertisers, taking into account that they have consumer permission for the act.

"The impact that this will have on the public is that they'll know exactly to whom they gave their permission for the communication," Becker said. "Unless consumers can identify the brand in communication with them, they simply see the message as spam."

Meanwhile, Flytxt is onto the next phase of its mobile marketing effort in Britain for Ford Motor Co.'s new Sportka. The campaign, in collaboration with Ford agency Wunderman, targets young male drivers in the market for a small car. The idea is to convince this audience, modeled on readers of lad magazines, that Sportka is not a girl's car.

Mail drops to nearly 30,000 prospects who are asked to respond for further information and the chance to win five Sony Trinitron WEGA widescreen television and DVD sets through a text-to-win code or postal entry.

Recipients then are sent a confirmation text message asking them to send their e-mail address. They are urged to complete and return a brief lifestyle-focused questionnaire included in the mailing.

Data captured this way will help create ongoing communications through direct marketing, SMS and e-mail.


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