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Verizon to Allow Ads on Its Mobile Phones 179

Posted by Zonk
from the because-there-was-one-place-they-couldn't-get-you dept.
srizah tipped us to a New York Times article, which has the news that Verizon is going to introduce ads to their phones. The offerings will show up when users browse the internet via their cell service, and will exclude streaming ads that might not work in the mobile format. Sprint began offering ads right on their cell 'deck' in October, and the article indicates that access to cellphone screens is a going concern with online advertisers. From the article: "Even without cooperation from carriers, advertisers have been able to reach consumers visiting off-deck sites, and such marketing has grown in size and in scope. The first advertisers drawn to mobile phones tended to be quick-serve restaurants and hotels -- businesses that people might want access to on the go. But increasingly, there is traditional brand marketing, said Jeff Janer, chief marketing officer for Third Screen Media, a mobile ad management company that pairs advertisers and agencies with providers of mobile content, like USA Today and the Weather Channel."
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Verizon to Allow Ads on Its Mobile Phones

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  • by astonishedelf (845821) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @12:08PM (#17367238)
    I was under the impression that we were already paying for the phone service. Granted that there is advertising on Sky and cable services but this is just a drain on battery power. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.
    • by Salvance (1014001) * on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @12:27PM (#17367442) Homepage Journal
      Yes, you're already paying for it ... but the cell phone providers and advertisers are really just looking our for your best interest ... as the article says:
      "The interest of advertisers in the medium stems from a theory that ads placed on mobile phones could create a particularly intimate bond with consumers"
      Hmmm... interesting theory. I used to work in marketing, and always love how marketing/advertising folks have this idea that everyone loves ads and that ads make their lives better.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Evilest Doer (969227)

        Yes, you're already paying for it ... but the cell phone providers and advertisers are really just looking our for your best interest ... as the article says:

        "The interest of advertisers in the medium stems from a theory that ads placed on mobile phones could create a particularly intimate bond with consumers"

        But I don't want an "intimate bond" with any advertisers! It looks like this whole setup is simply a form of rape.

      • by Cylix (55374)
        Ads make my life better.... just like this crack pipe.

        Each puff brings improvement and happines to my world! Just like commercials!
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by hobo sapiens (893427)
        I like the idea. I mean, I figure that the 3000 ads I see daily aren't enough. I think that products should be more strongly inculcated into my counsciousness.

        If my phone service provider starts allowing ads on my phone, I will cancel service. I'd hope that everyone else would do the same. You can't tolerate this type of thing, corporations trying to squeeze out every last dollar at the consumer's expense.
      • by frdmfghtr (603968)

        Yes, you're already paying for it ... but the cell phone providers and advertisers are really just looking our for your best interest ... as the article says:

        "The interest of advertisers in the medium stems from a theory that ads placed on mobile phones could create a particularly intimate bond with consumers"

        Hmmm... interesting theory. I used to work in marketing, and always love how marketing/advertising folks have this idea that everyone loves ads and that ads make their live

        • There's a difference between "fucked" (often a good, sometimes a great thing), "fucked over" (not a good thing at all, really) and plain "boned up the ass" which is what we're talking with cell phone ads. If I'm forced to view ad-supported Web sites on my cell phone while simultaneously providing additional revenue to my ad-supported cell phone provider that will end my relationship with that provider. Unless said carrier wants to give me my airtime free in exchange for ads or cut me in for a share of the p
          • by frdmfghtr (603968)
            (1) I canceled my cable service for the same reason, and I do remember when cable was touted as being ad-free thanks to paid subscribers.

            (2) I think you missed the word play connection I made on the "intimate bond with consumers" as stated in the article and my pointing out that we're already getting fucked. It was a joke.
      • They have to believe, else their entire worldview (and sense of self-worth, which should be close to zero but for some odd reason is usually inflated) would collapse.
      • the phones aren't Verizon's, they belong to the customer.

        If they want to send me advertising, it might be OK with me if they also subsidize my airtime, say with 2 minutes of usage credit for every ad.

        Regardless, I'll still make a concerted effort to avoide buying from these spammers.
    • by frdmfghtr (603968)

      I was under the impression that we were already paying for the phone service. Granted that there is advertising on Sky and cable services but this is just a drain on battery power. Just because you can doesn't mean you should.

      This is true, you are paying for the phone/data service. However, Verizon isn't beaming the ads directly to your phone. FTA:

      "Beginning early next year, Verizon Wireless will allow placement of banner advertisements on news, weather, sports and other Internet sites that users visit an

      • by caseydk (203763)

        Actually, I've built a number of WAP sites for major media companies and they're relatively clueless... the links go out to non-mobile friendly sites. Therefore, the sites look like crap and the advertisers look like schlubs.
    • by Kpau (621891)
      I really hope they don't plan on *CHARGING* me for the byte count of those ads... and for that matter that they send me a courtesy paycheck for the extra time it takes to download ad dribble. Basically my response is.... "ads?" no thanks the service on a 2 inch screen was iffy anyway so turn the web service off now.
    • Bitching, Bitching, Bitching... If people posting here are like 95% of the american consumer base, you'll do what everyone else does: Accept it. Face it - As long as it comes in increments, the US citizens having an amazing tolerance to others chipping away what we take for granted. Ads in movies, Gas Prices, Electricity, Cost of Milk at your grocer, Privacy Laws etc. That first price wasn't bad - Oh Well. *1 MONTHS LATER* Oh. It went up again, well, it wasn't that much of a jump from what it was last time
  • Argh (Score:2, Informative)

    by chanrobi (944359)
    Username: memyself4
    Password: memyself
  • Oh *great* (Score:3, Insightful)

    by scenestar (828656) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @12:10PM (#17367266) Homepage Journal
    So does this mean subscribers get a fucking discount ?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by ultranova (717540)

      So does this mean subscribers get a fucking discount ?

      No, it means that non-subscribers have to pay extra. After all, not having to watch advertisements on your phone is a privilege, not a right.

    • by mcsqueak (1043736)
      No, it means that we'll see the taxes that are tacked onto our bill to rise in order to re-coup the cost of providing new network infrastructure and hardware to handle the ads.
  • by techmuse (160085) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @12:10PM (#17367268)
    I already pay a lot of money for cell phone access. You charge me minutes and money for data access time. If I have to waste some of my money and minutes on advertisements, I will switch cell phone providers. I do not need to be told where to find hotels or shown ads. If I want one, I'll look it up.
    • by CapitalT (987101) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @12:30PM (#17367478) Homepage
      It's called lose not loose LOSE LOSE LOSE GODDAMNIT

      pheww... Now I'm ok [/venting]
      • by Bassman59 (519820)

        It's called lose not loose LOSE LOSE LOSE GODDAMNIT
        PLEASE ... mod parent up! We must do all we can to stop the douchebag losers who insist on spelling lose as "loose."
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by ScrewMaster (602015)
          douchebag losers

          Ah, I believe that's "douchbag loosers".

          Which is kind of gross, actually.
      • by Shads (4567)
        you'll be lost if you lose your cool over loose being used as a loss.
      • It's called lose not loose LOSE LOSE LOSE GODDAMNIT

        Don't loose your cool, man.
    • Well, since cable providers make you pay for commercials, I can see where there backwards logic comes from. I watched a Dateline episode about advertiers recently and I bet they saw this coming. You see, their research lead them to believe that as advertising becomes more present in daily life it becomes background noise an over time the advertisers must continue to annoy the customer even more to keep their attention.

      I fully expect the ad oriented entertainent system to die horribly in 30 years. Either
      • by Barny (103770)
        Yes, but (unless things have changed a lot since I looked last) US cable providers don't inject ads into the web sites you view.

        As an Australian this worries me, because sure as fuck some arsehat over here is going to look at this and think its a great way to double shaft users, I was thinking about upgrading to a 3g phone from my old nokia brick, but now I might not.
    • They want you loosed! Free from the confinement imposed by non-mobile phones. And being loosed is no reason to find a new cell phone service. The sooner you realize that, the sooner you can stazt dealing with problems caused by cell-phones.

      Charging you for ads that they make money on is a problem to switch companies, of course, but that's something that you should worry about after you realize that you've been loosed from the confinement imposed by traditional phones. I don't really think you're ready fo
    • Well as I see it Advertisments are well and good just as long my next bill is lowered. They Don't charge me for the adds. And they explain in the bill how much I have saved in the adds. If you are paying for a service and you are going to get adds in it they should show you how much you are saving due to these adds.
    • The day I see unsolicited ads on my cell phone is the day I shitcan my carrier for another one, and I won't care what it costs in termination fees. There's a limit to the amount of bullshit I can put up with.
    • I am reminded of a time in the distant past, when I used AOL for DOS when they charged per minute and dialup POPs were 14400bps. It took me forever to figure out why I couldn't connect faster than 2400 baud. Turns out that AOL's POPs were only 14400 in major metro areas; I was not in one, so my POP was 2400 baud.

      And then, on each connection, I was "downloading new art" for five minutes. When I finally put all the pieces together (no thanks to the existing AOL support), I canceled immediately.

      People are m
  • For example, Slashdot has slashdot.org/palm for small displays. Do the advertisers all have optimised sites for mobile phones, or do they all continue to spit out 70+ kB of worthless data?
    • Do the advertisers all have optimised sites for mobile phones, or do they all continue to spit out 70+ kB of worthless data?

      There's a difference?
    • by Znork (31774) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @12:48PM (#17367674)
      "worthless data?"

      As the advertizers have to pay someone to make you view it, and as people pay for, or go to extreme lengths to avoid viewing it, the data can actually be considered negative value, rather than worthless, data.

      As such, all advertizing money should be subtracted from GDP reporting. Maybe then we can finally get rid of it.
      • As such, all advertizing money should be subtracted from GDP reporting. Maybe then we can finally get rid of it.

        Wow, man. Once you go down that road, where does it stop? We'd have to subtract all the stuff that pollutes our world, the healthcare costs that are used to heal what the pollution does to us, the entertainment sales that go to fund lobbyists that buy laws like DMCA, etc. USA might not even be in the top-10 countries for GDP anymore. That would be a pretty nasty blow to our national ego, don

  • At least for VX8300 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rinisari (521266) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @12:19PM (#17367350) Homepage Journal
    Just about every LG phone can be easily changed to use non-Verizon WAP.
    http://vx8300.blogspot.com/2006/08/free-wap-intern et-on-vx8300.html [blogspot.com]
    • by Vengeance (46019) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @12:25PM (#17367422)
      Yup, I've done the same thing with my old VX7000, and will be doing the same when I upgrade next month.

      But still, even if it doesn't affect me directly, this move rubs me the wrong way. Give me a free phone and *maybe* I'll consider viewing ads on it... Free air time too, come to think of it. Of course, TV started out that way and now we pay to view ads there, too. Must be why I don't watch it much anymore.

      Remember, advertisers: The more you tighten your grip, the more of us will slip through your fingers. We don't *want* to be barraged day and night with useless promotioh of inferior products dammit.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Evilest Doer (969227)

        Remember, advertisers: The more you tighten your grip, the more of us will slip through your fingers. We don't *want* to be barraged day and night with useless promotioh of inferior products dammit.

        Actually, if it weren't for laws, advertisers would be setting up bullet-proof jumbotrons in every neighborhood and blaring ads at us 24/7. I could never understand why something is perfectly legal if the purpose is advertising, but is considered stalking and/or harassment if done as a private person. For inst

  • by Keruo (771880) * on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @12:23PM (#17367392)
    Operators here haven't tried the described style of advertising. If I understood it correctly, verizon forces users to use their proxy while browsing, and feeds the ads to customers through it.

    I'm not sure about mobile data transfer pricing in US but here in Finland operators charge $(euros)/MB rates depending on plan.
    Loading ads while browsing would mean you're actually paying your operator for displaying you ads!

  • by mwilliamson (672411) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @12:26PM (#17367428) Homepage Journal
    Free cellphone access? Reduced rates? Free internet access from my cellphone in return for these ads?
    • You lose! You get nothing! Good day sir...

      Pay up you foolish bastards. Keep paying these fucking people "ooooh i cant live without a cell phone"... YES YOU CAN. Fuck these companies and their bullshit. NO THANK YOU. I'll buy a shitty pay by the minute phone with a piss poor lcd with no net access, and i'll GET JUST WHAT I WANT... A TELEPHONE.

      Forget these companies. God. Stop paying them for these products. They OWN YOU.

      Replace Cell phone with... Verizon FIOS. "WE'll force ads to pop up on your desktop with
      • Replace Cell phone with... Verizon FIOS. "WE'll force ads to pop up on your desktop with verizon fios" How fucking insane would that be? YAH! they should do it!

        Chill, brother. Verizon doesn't pop-up ads on FiOS customers. I have had it for several months and I haven't seen a single one.
        • I have FIOs as well :) It was just a mad ranting example of what we'll allow them to do to us. I fear that many of us would simply sit there and take it, if verizon decided to force us to use an app on fios that flashed ads every 5 seconds
      • It's been a long time since I've been bothered by any ads either at home or at work. Thanks to firefox and the adblock extension along with filterset-g updater, I don't see much bulls**t content at all. I even hacked a slax live-cd with all my favorite browsing filteration, and it works great. BTW, I wonder if verizon's FIOS will run on a linux box. (i.e. is it standard network stuff?).

  • Great, not only will they offer terrible service, but now I get an offer to waste my time and bandwidth with advertising.

    And whether the advertisers pay for the space (or I would get asked to pay, since it is my phone and service time), it doesn't matter, because I'll be goddamned if I'm going to have a cellphone company foist their own content on me.

    All I want to do on my phone and my time is make or receive my phone calls. Since Verizon apparently has a problem sticking to that script, I'm sure there are
    • by RESPAWN (153636)

      All I want to do on my phone and my time is make or receive my phone calls. Since Verizon apparently has a problem sticking to that script, I'm sure there are still others willing to play along...
      If you're only making and receiving calls on your phone, then you won't see these ads anyway. They only show up when you browse the internet on your phone. Christ. Even that piece of information made it in the description -- you didn't even have to RTFA to find that out.

      • If you're only making and receiving calls on your phone, then you won't see these ads anyway. They only show up when you browse the internet on your phone. Christ. Even that piece of information made it in the description -- you didn't even have to RTFA to find that out.


        And how long before audio-ads appear when you call someone? Or before they add ADs in your phone's contact book?

        -Em
  • Didnt the gizmondo try this already? look where they ended up.
  • by nurb432 (527695) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @12:31PM (#17367482) Homepage Journal
    Might be a marketing executive.

    Personally, i make it a point of not shopping at places that shove their ads in my face. And reward the ones that dont, with my business. not that my little influence in the world will close a company down, but i at least did my part. Have you?
    • by hxnwix (652290)
      Do you keep a list of offensive advertisers so that you know whose products not to buy? Or, more likely, do you walk around pissed off with a few despised companies on the tip of your tongue and numerous brand names floating about in long term memory?

      Do you recite the names of the companies that you hate?

      Chevy, Coke, Nike, Buik, that pizza place, what's their face, Calvin Klien, Taco Bell, BK (stupid king!)

      O.M.G. this commercial with the fleeces and the lady in the glasses, oh I hate them... what's their n
      • by nurb432 (527695)
        Comments:

        1 - I pretty much have stopped eating out, due to the advertising and 'sports taxes' on resturants. Most of what i eat is prepared at home, mostly from scratch.

        2 - Sure, there are always things you realistically have to buy, but i *do* make a point to at least choose companies that are the lesser of the evils. Besides, there are plenty of local stores you can take your business to that dont use the 'in-your-face' advertising techniques. Even if it costs a little more, we all should be supporting ou
  • by amjohns (29330) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @12:31PM (#17367492)
    So in addition to charging advertisers for ad space, Verizon will also be charging users for the additional data download. Not just text, but images, and potentially video in the future.

    Given Verizon's past on screwing their customers, like locking down BlueTooth features on phones, and even wired data connections on Treo's, why am I not surprised.
  • What next? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @12:35PM (#17367536) Homepage Journal
    I eagerly await the Java phone port of Bonzi Buddy. [wikipedia.org]
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by jcuervo (715139)
      I, for one, welcome our new...

      *clicky*

      ...wait, what the fuck is that? Is that a goddamned purple gorilla asking me how my day was? I am not welcoming a fucking talking purple gorilla as my new overlord. I'm sorry, I just can't do it.
  • by DJ Jones (997846)
    I believe this is an early sign of the conglomeration and monopolization of cell phone carrier services in the U.S. The competition that drove down cell phone prices 5 years ago is on the verge of being suppressed by the success of two or three major service providers. With less competition the consumers are eventually going to see a loss of overall service and an increase in the number of cheap moves like this to increase corporate profits while taking advantage of the consumers limited access to alternat
  • by bjk002 (757977) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @12:40PM (#17367574)
    IANAL, but it would seem that some of this could fall under many states newly enacted statutes with regard to Unsolicited Advertising [naw.org] [naw.org].

    Verizon had better be careful, lest they end up with a barage of class-action lawsuits...
    • I don't see it as unsolicited. You have a choice of cell phone providers. If you don't want ads then pick one that does not show ads. You also have the choice of not using cell service at all. There is nothing unsolicited here. Every party enters these agreements voluntarily.
      • "I don't see it as unsolicited."

        This is MY web connection. I pay Verizon for this service. What you are suggesting is akin to saying that my ISP can force me to view their advertisments before allowing me to surf the web. Nope, sorry, won't wash with me. I am paying a "provider" to provide "access", not "content". there is a HUGE difference here. I don't want their content, so I see no reason why I should have to pay (see bandwidth utilization) for their "content".

        As for "If you don't want ads th
    • by Godji (957148)
      And what will those lawsuits do to them? Hell, they'll pay a couple of dollars per customer and forget about it. They'll still make a profit. Reference: Sony.
  • by b0s0z0ku (752509) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @12:44PM (#17367624)
    Certain networks they shall remain nameless seem to be rather cavailer about allowing SMS SPAM to reach users (who then pay 10c per message if they don't have a data plan).

    -b.

    • by ryanov (193048)
      Or probably even if they do. I haven't seen SMS included in too many data plans.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by the_humeister (922869)
      Why should they remain nameless? Tell us which ones they are so that we can avoid them before signing a contract!!!
  • by suv4x4 (956391) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @12:47PM (#17367666)
    I don't live in US but my mobile service provider has this annoying habbit of flooding their customers with SMS ads of their latest-and-greatest campaign.

    Granted, they sent us the campaign ad once, that's, let's say, bearable. But then they proceeded sending it every day and on every reload. My parents, which have mobiles, are not 100% familiar with the additional features of their mobile phone (besides making you know: phone calls), so those messages confuse them additionally and needless to say every time I receive an SMS I have to go out of my way to stop, open my cellphone, read it, delete it (since it may actually be important).

    So this way armed with bad feelings I called them and said "ok, can you please tell your supervisors up the chain that I do not wish to receive any more ads on my personal cellphone, especially I don't wanna receive the same exact SMS message telling me to join your campaign every day. If I wanted to join it, one SMS would be sufficient, thanks".

    The answer from the support: "well there's nothing wrong with the ads, I mean: there's also ads on the TV right, if you don't like them, you don't watch them".

    Me: "But I pay for this service, why augment it with ads? If I don't want those ads what's the use of sending them to me?"

    Support: "Well you also pay for your cable right?"

    After a conversation like this you know the root cause of the issue: zero respect for the customer and zero research on what effect their actions have.

    Well, guess who's switching to the competition next year (when a new law comes in place that mandates I can keep my phone number..)
    • They can do what they want with you, when they want. You are nothing. PAY UP or fuck off. That is the way this world works.

      Grab a gun and kill something. Maybe then things will change.
  • And if they make it there don't pay the data bill for them.
  • Fuck that. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jcr (53032) <jcr@[ ].com ['mac' in gap]> on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @12:56PM (#17367756) Journal
    First time I see spam on my mobile phone, I will drop that vendor like a bad habit.

    -jcr

  • Define offer.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by txsvxn (972752) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @01:04PM (#17367828)
    I know that I'm probably old fashioned, but doesn't the word offer indicate the ability to refuse said offer? If a mobile service provider is forcing advertising on you, that's not an offer...to me it's nothing more than the same kind of deal where your neighborhood maffia "offers" you protection against potential damages that might be incurred if you don't pay them.
  • Interesting concept. Aggravate the cell phone user directly, and then s/he won't want to use a cell phone while driving or at the movies.......
    • Who really needs a cell phone anyways?

      How about free public tax payer cell phone service? Free Wifi as well. Lets just use tax dollars to run these services and fuck'n put an end to the companies and their tricks. We dont need the bullshit, we just need our services!

      I tolerate so little from these companies now. I block all ads in firefox. I harrass phone sales people. I absolutely hate our government and how little it cares for our civilization. Civic Duty is lost. There is no hope. We are cash batteries.
    • Interesting concept. Aggravate the cell phone user directly, and then s/he won't want to use a cell phone while driving or at the movies.......


      So, how would someone sign up someone to recieve important offers directly from advertisers? Just for, um, research purposes. Or something.

      [badum-ching]
  • Sprint began offering ads right on their cell 'deck' in October. Observe that even our /. poster has been reprogrammed by our Advertising Overlords. I would welcome them, but they arrived long ago.
  • But I have an even better one. How about I give you the finger...

    ... and you give me my phone call.

    Oh wait.
  • I thought that it was my phone when I bought it. Are there things that DON'T have any advertisement?

    And we all know what will happen. Phones with ads will not become much cheaper. Phones without them will just become more expensive.
  • Urgent (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Sloppy (14984) on Tuesday December 26, 2006 @02:57PM (#17368914) Homepage Journal

    We need the software that runs on our phones to be completely seperate from and uninfluenced by the carriers. Phones, like PCs, need to be accountable directly to their owners, not to someone else. We need serving us to be their very first priority. Ads are just one aspect of this conflict of interest, and it's just going to get worse.

  • ... if they cut the charges for ringtones down from $2.99 each and maybe even reduce my monthly bill. I'd gladly view an ad when I'm texting or whatever, if it means I can save a few bucks a month.
  • You remain my cell provider out of convenience alone. If I have to start paying to download ads then you will be replaced with a provider who does not - your fetish for crippling Bluetooth on all of your phones already has you on thin ice so go ahead - give people yet another point against which they can easily compete. If *any* other provider has half a brain the time around the Superbowl will be flush with ads promising not to pull a Verizon and keep your cell phones ad-free.

    Bite me.

  • So, verizon can choose to offer me up as another set of eyeballs to advertisers. Can I opt out of receiving this newfangled feature? Or do I have to bounce to a new carrier until they adopt that policy, and then to the next, so forth and so on?
  • Well, I'm a VZW customer who was already contemplating his exit for the end of contract in April '07, but now I'm PLANNING it. I might even eat the early termination fee and jump ship within a month.

    It's not like my current phone can actually do wireless web; it's a Nokia 6015i with a 96x65 12-bit color screen. But I was contemplating getting a rather nice dumbphone, since I'm supposed to be the techie with the flashy phone that has an onboard digital camera, mobile web, and hi-res screen, and not the eco
  • This sounds like the first major example of a Network Neutrality violation. If I read the article correctly, this is an ISP inserting ads into other people's web pages. Or are they talking about browsing only Verizon pages? At which point this is dumb, but not a big shocker. How does an individual consumer contact the FCC?

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