Mobile commerce

AT&T Intros Mobile Location-Based Ads

AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) claimed Monday that it is the first major U.S. carrier to offer a location-based mobile marketing service aimed at driving consumers to specific retail locations with targeted offers.

The "ShopAlerts" system will provide subscribers -- that opt into the service -- with offers, rewards and coupons based on their specific locations in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. To provide the alerts, AT&T creates a wireless perimeter around a retail location, event or specific geographic area in order to deliver appropriate location-specific messages. Participating consumers receive relevant marketing messages -- with additional information such as weather, traffic and local shopping-area details -- when they step inside an AT&T "geo-fence". Initial sponsors for the ShopAlert service will be HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ), Kmart, JetBlue, SC Johnson, Kibbles 'n Bits, Nature's Recipe and the National Milk Mustache "got milk?" campaign.

Why this matters
With this new service, AT&T is combining the capability to target ads very accurately -- because it knows a handset user's location through GPS and other network data -- with the popularity of online city coupon alerts like the popular daily offering from GroupOn.

But just how many AT&T subs in these major metropolitan areas will sign on to let retailers in on their location remains to be seen.

For more
Read more on mobile ads:

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    — Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

  • WilliamofOccam 12/5/2012 | 5:11:46 PM
    re: AT&T Intros Mobile Location-Based Ads

    There is also the potential hazard of tyring to read these LBS updates while driving. 

    ethertype 12/5/2012 | 5:11:47 PM
    re: AT&T Intros Mobile Location-Based Ads

    Opt-in is the only viable model for this stuff.  If not many people opt in, then AT&T will have to do more to make it attractive.  I look at it like selling a service that people pay money for:  you're asking them to give up something (privacy, interruptions) to get something, so you had better create a compelling value proposition.  Until they can do that, just ignore all the blather about "monetizing end users,"  because the end users will tell them where they can stick their monetization.

    mdelaney 12/5/2012 | 5:11:48 PM
    re: AT&T Intros Mobile Location-Based Ads

    'Opting in' could be standard terms and conditions for all new contracts .... unless you out out?

    joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:11:49 PM
    re: AT&T Intros Mobile Location-Based Ads

    I would be annoyed if it was opt-out, as a user. I don't want ads/coupons I never asked for coming to my phone.

    sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:11:49 PM
    re: AT&T Intros Mobile Location-Based Ads

    I agree, and I think most consumers do -- which is why I don't think many will actually opt in to even give AT&T a chance to prove its valuable.

    sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:11:51 PM
    re: AT&T Intros Mobile Location-Based Ads

    I'm a little surprised AT&T is doing this as opt in. The easier way to reach more of its customers would be opt out, but that could upset a lot of people. Probably smart to start this way. It'll be interesting to see how many actually choose to opt in.

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