Ad as RingBACK Tone — Corrected


mobiletv.jpgADOTAS – CORRECTION: I misunderstood the press release — apparently the ad appears not in the ring tone but the ringback tone. So instead of hearing ring-ring when you dial a friend, you’ll hear a quick push for a product or service. I apologize and the snark has been justly castigated.

— Of all faux pas, you’re sitting in a meeting and you forget to turn your mobile ringer off. Instead of the Super Mario Bros. theme song that normally blares, a voice screams from your device, “Having rear-side trouble? Your favorite over-the-counter hemorrhoid cream is on sale at CVS!”

Oooh, I can only begin to imagine the uncomfortable situations that LiveWire Mobile’s new advertising ringtone service RingSpot could lead to.

The opt-in program will allow carriers to send a personalized message (a “short and clever marketing message” according to the press release) from a national advertiser, a non-profit or a local merchant to the consumer instead of the ring tone. When the user finishes his or her call, pressing a button will garner a text message with more information.

All jokes aside, this strikes me as crossing the line from engaging to invasive — a line that SMS coupons already straddle. I know it’s a rough economy, but are consumers really this hungry for deals?


  1. Proof that there’s always an investor dumb enough to sink money into any idea, no matter how stupid. How many people do they really think will want to replace their ring tone for a random selection of ads? Would you?


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