Over at IDG's Computerworld, Here come the cell phone ad disaster, Mike Elgan compares the upcoming revenue gold rush on mobile devices to the volcanic destruction of a Minoan civilization on the Greek Island of Santorini
Listing plenty of unpleasant ways, advertisers could seek to interrupt you on your personal mobile device:
Recorded advertising voice mails.
SMS ads that ring your phone.
MMS ads that ring your phone.
Advertiser-supported software and services.
Web pages that force you to view an ad before you can see the page.
Location-based advertising -- you'll walk by a store, and it will ring your phone to tell you about a sale.
Text, e-mail or Web-based ads that encourage you to "click to call."
Search ads tailored for phones.
Mike concludes The disaster is coming, and there's not much any of us can do about it other than reward companies that don't engage in cell phone advertising, punish those that do and hope for the best.
I agree with Mike that there's certainly the potential for disaster, and inevitably there will surely be some terrible abuses as the mobile industry matures. However, the sheer scale of the mobile market, coupled with the ability to deliver contextually relevant and targeted information that improves the user experience means that some of the inevitable initial problems will get resolved.
Handled properly, users will value additional information provided by marketers to help their purchasing decisions. But, if the customer experience is mishandled, the backlash from users will irreparably damage a brand. Appreciating the viral power of mobile and the communications power of mobile social networks will ensure that marketers who look to engagement rather interruption will win over the loyalty of mobile consumers.