← View latest articles

The MMA And CTIA Have Established A Joint Task Force…To Do Something.

February 2, 2011 12:37 pm by

The Mobile Marketing Association and ‘CTIA-The Wireless Association®’ issued a joint press release this morning to announce the creation of a joint task force for text-based mobile marketing programs. If you’re not familiar with the two aforementioned groups you can check the bottom of the press release, but in short CTIA represents the wireless carriers among other telecommunications industry participants and the MMA chiefly represents mobile marketers.

Here’s this morning’s announcement:

CTIA-The Wireless Association® and the MMA (Mobile Marketing Association) announced today the creation of a joint task force that will streamline the process for Common Short Code (CSC)-based mobile marketing programs in the U.S. Led by executives from the two organizations and from the mobile marketing program ecosystem, this new group will focus on two areas: shortening time-to-market for mobile marketing programs and supporting those mobile marketers who best adhere to consumer protection guidelines.

We’ve argued on this blog that one of the disadvantages of short codes is the lengthy approval process — so we’re glad to hear that the carriers have recognized this problem. We provide services via long codes, but are happy to see progress on the short code side of the industry. The rest of the announcement has left us scratching our heads:

The joint task force will work to create uniform guidelines across carrier networks. It will also carefully balance monitoring of the CSC-based mobile marketing programs to ensure consumers are protected and campaigns are appropriately functioning. Finally, the group will recommend mechanisms to reward consistently trustworthy performers and explore potential enforcement mechanisms to drive greater compliance.

None of this is new, so we’re confused as to what this task force is supposed to do. Further, we’re not sure what problem this is supposed to solve. The MMA ‘Best Practices’ already reiterate the largely harmonized carrier guidelines. There are already laws like the T.C.P.A. in place to protect consumers. As to ‘rewarding trustworthy performers’ we’re not sure what this could realistically mean in practice. On that note, what sort of  ‘potential enforcement mechanisms’ could be implemented? We assume they would be used to punish those who are not deemed ‘trustworthy performers,’ whatever that means.

Protecting consumers, making mobile marketing easier for businesses and clarifying the carrier regulations are all admirable goals; we wonder how this task force will accomplish any of them. How does a telecom trade group and a voluntary trade group of marketers propose to recognize some ‘performers’ as ‘trustworthy,’ reward them and implement mechanisms to enforce adherence to an unnamed list of regulations? On what basis would such a ‘joint task force’ even operate?

Read the entire press release here. Leave a comment if you’d like to add to the discussion.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on PinterestEmail this to someone