The Direct Marketing Association is spearheading plans for an SMS preference service, in response to growing concerns over permission-based mobile phone marketing.
The service, likely to be launched in the first half of next year, will attempt to address the problem of mobile phone 'spamming' by allowing consumers to opt out of receiving communications from advertisers.
The DMA's involvement is being headed by its director of telecommerce Ian Davis. It has already held a series of discussions with mobile phone network providers, and a formal plan for the initiative is likely to be finalised shortly. It is not yet known what the DMA's role in the preference service will be.
'It is crucial the industry takes collective responsibility over how consumers are marketed to through new channels,' said Davis. 'The launch of an SMS preference service would allow it to do that.' Davis added that he would have liked to see the service already operational, but the first half of next year was now a more realistic target date.
The DMA already operates a range of other preference services, allowing consumers to opt out of receiving fax, mail, e-mail and telephone-based communications.
However, commercial organisations are cashing in on the opportunity to capture data about consumers and use it to create a suppression file for advertisers. Notably, The Preference Service, the company behind the Royal Mail-backed Postal Preference Service, is developing plans to launch e-mail and mobile phone-based initiatives (Marketing, August 24).
The company is keen to use the same framework for its new media services as it has for PPS, which The Preference Service marketing director Jackie Duff said this week, has so far 'exceeded expectations'.