Byte Me Article 368 – Advertising Distraction

2nd June 2018

How Much is Too Much

How many adverts do you see each day and when are too many ads enough?  If you watch TV then you will already know about the latest deal from Holden or Red Rooster, KFC, Mitre 10 or Comm Bank.  We can’t get away from these and the more popular the content that we are watching is (like a royal wedding or the footy grand final) the more ads there seems to be.

It is not just the TV, but the radio, the Internet Pop-up, Spam Emails, Billboards, Newspapers, Sports branding, junk mail, Facebook ads, car signage – the list keeps going.  We are talking about one of the biggest global industries there is.  So where am I going with this?  My question is at what point is it too much?

I got an email the other day (yes, a spam email) suggesting that we go with a new advertising medium using Bluetooth, called Bluetooth Beacon Marketing the idea is to place a small battery powered electronic beacon in our shopfront window to ‘capture’ the attention of a percentage of people walking past.

These devices have a range of 300 metres and need contact with your phone for around 20 seconds then a notification will ‘pop up’ on your mobile screens which when clicked on produces a full screen colour advert about Kerr Solutions.  The cost of this advertising is about $100/month and extra beacons can be purchased outright for another $70 each to transmit the same message without any increase in the monthly plan.

The company selling these devices state that you can even place extra beacons in your car or carry them with you on public transport to reach a larger audience.  So now without even looking at Facebook or the Internet on our mobiles we get a pop-up message demanding our attention!  The manufacturer also suggests that if you are a Tradie you can have one of these in your ute and it will notify phones in other cars that are travelling in the same direction.

As you can tell by my attitude – we won’t be going with this form of marketing, but you must start asking – is this going too far?  To pop-up a message on our phone screens without any warning and even while you are driving is verging on both an invasion of privacy and a lack of safe practices.

The above Bluetooth devices are being marketed at the same time a rash of new Bluetooth car devices are coming out offering HUD heads up displays.  These devices can be installed on your existing car and provide a GPS unit as well as Bluetooth linking to you phone give you hands free phone calls and text messages.  They will also read out phone notifications and ‘pop-up’ like the above.

While in the control of a motor vehicle, can you imagine how good your concentration levels would remain after a text from your girlfriend suggests that you break up – or a text from Ergon notifies you that late payment of your account has now resulted in an upcoming disconnection?   Apparently mobile phone usage has already become the leading cause of death behind the wheel.

There must be a better solution to the current mobile phone / car driver problem and it needs to be found fast.  I already see way too many people talking on phones or texting.  Even while waiting at a set of lights you see them have a look around for any police cars, then pick up their phone and start using it.

The entire advertising spectrum needs to be revamped with safety and logic in mind.  More regulations need to be put on mobiles in cars and these new Bluetooth marketing devices need to be better controlled.  At some point the information that we look at on screens – whether they are mobiles, computer screens or TV’s needs to be placed back under our control.

We don’t want a constant bombardment of adverts simply because some marketer has promised some widget seller that he can get them more customers at any cost. 

All previous Byte Me Articles can be found on our website at  and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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