Marketing can, at times, be a ‘monkey-see-monkey-do’ practice. Come up with an innovative idea and the industry is ready to follow suit. But if the success of an ad campaign or a marketing shenanigan can apply to one product from the other then dangers and warnings apply too-so do the law suits
Back in April 2010, famous pizza chain Papa John’s, allegedly sent out around 500,000 unwanted messages to an unsuspecting audience. The messages offered pizza deals and promotions for the brand. This resulted in a class-action action law suit which is now expected to set the US food chain back by $250 million. Papa John’s quickly ended involvement with its provider ONTIME4U text program when the incident occurred back in 2010. The plaintiffs now seek up to $500 for each SMS sent but could be awarded up to $1500 if jury rules that Papa John’s willfully broke the law. ONTIME4U, the SMS provider stands as a co-defendant in this case.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 bars companies from sending advertisements via text messages without a consumer first opting into the service. This means bulk messaging is a big no-no unless the customers are willing participants.
Now on to Exhibit Pakistan.
At the end of last year, the Pakistan Telecom Association banned all masking services in Pakistan. In fact, any shortcodes that will be allowed to continue operations require two functionalities:
- The option for the recipient to reply back
- The ability to opt out from these messages at any given time
At Pring, privacy of the user is our top priority. Using various checks and protocols we ensure that no subscriber on the Pring community is spammed or bombarded with unnecessary messages. In fact we can proudly state that from our user-base of over 5 million, not a single individual is a spamming victim but a willful participant. Unless a consumer willingly opts in for updates from a brand’s various check-in points he does not receive any messages from our social media platform. The checks do not end there. We limit our clients from making more than 3 updates in a week and more than one update in a day. So even if a consumer has opted in to talk to a brand, his experience is still ensured to be anything but noisy. However there still maybe some time before the brands catch up to the finesse of using the enigma that is mobile marketing.
Posted by Sheikh Omer Zaheer