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Code of Conduct for Wireless Campaigns

The Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), today announced the release of the first industry code of conduct for wireless marketing campaigns. The Code of Conduct was developed by the MMA board-appointed Privacy Advisory Committee (PAC) whose members are Carat Interactive, Cingular Wireless, Procter & Gamble, PocketChoice, The Weather Channel, and VeriSign. The PAC was formed from within MMA member companies. The CoC was ratified by a majority of MMA board members.

“One of the most important issues facing the growth of mobile marketing today is the prevention of mobile Spam,” said Jim Manis, Chair of the MMA and vice president of mobile messaging management company, m-Qube. “This Code of Conduct represents the work of an entire industry coming together on behalf of consumers to insure a trusted and valued relationship in communicating with brands in North America.”

Statement from the Privacy Advisory Committee

The Mobile Marketing Association Privacy Advisory Committee realizes the need for a Code of Conduct that is both universal in principle and industry specific in its application. Industries touched by this Code of Conduct are: content providers, carriers, technology providers, advertisers and brands. In building this code of conduct, we realize that: 1) mobile device marketing has proven to be the most effective means of consumer interaction; 2) marketing on mobile devices is a personal communication with the consumer that must be handled with care for it to succeed; 3) systematic abuses among a minority of marketers caused consumer backlash against all marketers; 4) that current internet privacy policy and verification initiatives may not be effective with mobile marketing; and 5) that mobile device marketing can be made profitable for both consumers and marketers through a strong Code of Conduct backed by a unified industry.

Code of Conduct Summary

The Mobile Marketing Code of Conduct is broken into six categories: Choice, Control, Customization, Consideration and Confidentiality.

Choice

Consumers must “opt-in” to all mobile messaging programs. Consumers may Opt-in to a program by sending a text message, calling a voice response unit, registering on a website, or through some other legitimate paper-based method; they opt-in for a specific program only. Control Consumers must also be allowed to easily terminate — opt-out — their participation in an ongoing mobile messaging program through channels identical to those through which they can opt-in to a given program. Programs with multiple message strings must provide an opt-out option for each message.

Customization

As mobile messaging campaigns are most effective when appropriately targeted, consumers could be asked to provide demographic, preferences and other information. Consideration The consumer must receive and/or be offered something of value to them in return for receiving the communication. Value may be delivered in the form of product and service enhancements, reminders, sweepstakes, contests, information, entertainment, discounts or location based services.

Constraint

The marketer, content provider, or aggregator must provide a global “throttling mechanism” capable managing and limiting mobile messaging programs to a reasonable number of programs. Consumers should be able to override the throttle.

Confidentiality

The Mobile Marketing Association will align with TRUSTe with specific provisions on not renting, selling or sharing personal information about consumers participating in programs delivered through its platform with other people or nonaffiliated companies except to provide the products and services requested.

Implementing the Code of Conduct

“The Code of Conduct is a tremendous first step toward aligning the industry behind an aggressive, yet universal set of principles for mobile marketing that protects the consumer and the industry simultaneously,” said Cristy Swink of Cingular Wireless and PAC committee member.

The second step the MMA is considering is the creation of a mobile campaign certification process that will help advertisers and brands design campaigns that meet the Code of Conduct.

“This Code of Conduct represents a watershed event in the new industry and gives advertisers and brands much-needed guidance that will protect consumers from receiving unwanted marketing messages while giving legitimate brands a solid and appropriate framework for direct consumer communication,” said David Verklin, CEO of Carat North America, Interactive a leading advertising agency.

The complete Code of Conduct is available at www.mmaglobal.com.

About Fabrizio Pilato

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