M1, a cellphone operator in Singapore with 1.4 million customers, on Thursday started using triangulation to send unsolicited location-based advertising by text message after a successful two-day trial in October. The trial included no more than two ads a day from a department store, an ice cream maker and coffee shops. Each message came with the ability - free of charge - to opt out of future advertising. Only 0.2 percent of the recipients opted out during the trial.
"People didn't seem to mind the advertisements," said Neil Montefiore, M1's chief executive. "There is a market for this, but we have seen that without discounts, customers don't want this type of advertising.
"Retailers tend to sell at peak hours, especially food and coffee shops, so if they can attract people at down hours, that could be very valuable for them," he added.
The Australian affiliate of Vodaphone recently began using Bluetooth to send location-based ads, and the service may soon be expanded to other countries, said Richard Saggers, the head of Vodafone's advertising business. NTT DoCoMo in Japan and KT in South Korea are some of the other companies that have begun to use location-based advertising.Sphere: Related Content