Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Midnight SMS: AirFrance must be stopped

Market Intelligence:

Remember the disturbing midnight Short Messaging Service (SMS), it has unfortunately began to emerge again as this time, it is no longer merely from the operators trying to sell their offerings, it has advanced to advertising avenue to reach the populace, bad enough it comes at odd hours.

This latest development came from Air France who was soliciting for customers via SMS, incidentally and as bad as it were, it was delivered in the midnight.

Precisely at about 1:49 am on Wednesday, a message came into Mazi Uche Adi’s GSM phone and it reads.

“Book, Buy and Board! Make your reservation at www.airfrance.com.ng and pay with your Interswitch or E-Tranzact card – Pay online now only with Air France!”

However, as long as no one is against using SMS for marketing or as marketing tools at this era of our evolution, it is relevant to guide against wrong timing, mostly when it is unsolicited for by the subscriber or recipient.

Although AirFrance could be commended for even domesticating its domain name to .com.ng, it is necessary that both the airline and telecom used in deploying its SMS advertising do that at a good time.

Otherwise, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) must do something now, even as the Association of Telecommunications Companies of Nigeria (ATCON) and Association of Licensed Telecom of Nigeria (ALTON), need to come together to ensure that services like advertising through the ICT are delivered at the appropriate time.

This is because it gives some sense of belonging for subscribers to realise that their times, especially resting hours are recognised as such.

The essence of stopping the likes of Air France now is to avoid escalation.

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