SMS ads nuisance will be restricted by law
26 December, 2013
SMS ads nuisance will be restricted by law
Legislative changes are underway to curb the SMS advertisements annoying Georgian cell subscribers all the time. Apart of legislative restrictions the change envisages fines as high as GEL 3-10 thousand for pestering consumers by advertisement through cell messages. Every mobile phone consumer in Georgia can tell his/her affliction stories on the incessant SMS assault the branded shops and marketing outlets implement on consumers. The cell messages reporting on unbelievable sales and amazing quality of products enter handsets ever now and
This kind of direct marketing is one of the advertising tools practiced worldwide, Eldar Pirmisashvili, a PR and Marketing Communications specialist, explains. But its essence is distorted in Georgia. Normally, senders of the ads have to inquire permission of the receiver before sending SMS ads. But nobody cares for securing permissions in Georgia.
Messages are sent in an incoherent way without aiming at proper target groups. For instance, men got messages touting women underwear or little kids are invited to acquire tyres of excellent quality for Jeeps. But ads on IT technology and kitchen appliance are a subject of common nuisance. The lack of marketing skills and legislative gaps are the reasons to this, Pirmisashvili, said in the interview to Georgian Journal.
“SMS marketing is a part of complex advertisement campaign normally and aims at target groups to have an effect. Bu in Georgia it is implemented separately and without calculation its effect because it is cheap. One SMS message costs 6 tetri but once marketing outlets procure huge quantities of messages [like 100 thousands] cell companies make discounts to 1-3 tetri per message. And because it is cheap the trade outlets do not calculate how effective this SMS marketing is. In fact this money is thrown in the air because SMS reaches the wrong consumer who do not need the offered product/service and who gets irritated,” Primisahsvili said
But cell companies are more skilful as far as they implement some selection and offer targeted groups differentiating them at least as male and female groups, according the age etc whereas there are some advertising operators who acquired the data base of consumers through illegal means [former cell company employees or affiliated persons] very likely and who send messages without any selection.
Consumers can stop the undesired SMS harassment only if they submit a written request that is not completely convenient. Lately, after the public outcry became stronger for SMS nuisance, authority decided to improve the regulation and provide better protection of private data. The Personal Data Protection Inspection initiated changes to the law that will make submitting refusal on advertisement more convenient: it can use the similar way as the marketing is implemented [or the SMS]. The law also will be regulating gathering of the data source. Otherwise, if an entity uses a direct marketing it has to secure the open consent beforehand. If an organization breaks these rules and continues direct marketing notwithstanding the opinion of the consumer such organizations will face penalties varying from GEL 3 thousand to 10 thousand, Tamar Kaldani is reported saying by InterPress News on December 20. After a consumer’s application will enter the Personal Data Protection Inspection it will implement inspection of the questioned unit and define the rate of the penalty.
Another challenge is that the paragraphs envisaging penalties and private sector inspection enters into effect starting 2016. The Personal Data Protection Inspection is intent to inactivate the paragraphs much earlier.

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