DMA embraces Bluetooth technology after U-turn

The Direct Marketing Association (DMA) is set to perform a U-turn by actively looking to promote the use of Bluetooth mobile technology for marketing purposes.

According to Robert Dirskovski, head of interactive marketing at the DMA, the organisation is about to publish guidelines on how Bluetooth mobile technology might be used for marketing purposes.

The DMA, which has previously criticised Bluetooth marketing systems (MW September 22, 2005), will also unveil its Mobile Marketing Council in March, with the controversial technology high on the agenda.

But Dirskovski warns that major issues, such as industry confusion over privacy laws, must still be ironed out. He states: “We’re keen to engage with the industry. We want to use this technology — but there are problems that need to be addressed.”

He says the DMA wants to meet companies active in the field to explore solutions to the legal problems.

The Privacy and Electronic Communications Act (2003) specifies that consumers must opt in before marketers can send them marketing messages via SMS and e-mail, and on other electronic devices.

A spokeswoman for the Information Commissioner’s Office – the regulator for Britain’s privacy laws – says: “An individual must give consent to an organisation before receiving direct marketing messages via Bluetooth technology.”

Some companies developing Bluetooth marketing systems claim that the regulations are confusing, while others say they do not apply to Bluetooth.

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