What is Sprint Nextel thinking?

Here’s a follow up on my favorite brand mis-match. Today in my AAF SmartBrief, I notice a banner ad for Sprint together with NEXTEL.

So following up on my mention from last month, I guess that Mark Schweitzer, Sprint’s chief marketing officer has so much confidence in Goodby that the company now plans to chase customers away with targeted advertising.

There is a quote in the CNET News.com article Advertising seeps into the cell phone from Lowell McAdam, chief operating officer of Verizon Wireless that Sprint Nextel, who according to the article “will be the first of the four major U.S. carriers to move in this direction“, should heed as a warning.

“We are being careful about jumping into advertising,” Lowell McAdam, chief operating officer of Verizon Wireless, said during a panel at the CTIA show. “People view their cell phones as their personal space, more so than their PC. If they get an ad they don’t want to view, that is a violation.”

Why in the world would Sprint Nextel think that this might be a even a slightly good idea?
The company is consistently losing market share, has no brand identity, zero customer loyalty and are just plain fun to beat up on as a brand and company. Being the first in the industry to show ads to its subscribers is certainly not an area of business they should be focusing on.

One comment

  1. Jim says:

    I’m sure you saw this from Ad Week:

    Consumers Not Gaga for Mobile Ads
    June 26, 2007
    By Brian Morrissey

    ABI Research anticipates $3 billion will be spent on mobile ads this year, rising to $19 billion in 2011.

    NEW YORK While advertisers are giddy at the prospect of placing ads on cellphones, many consumers are wary of the prospect.

    A Harris Interactive survey found consumers ambivalent to the idea of ad-supported content and services on their cellphones. When asked of the different forms of cellphone advertising, from text links tied to search results to a promo ad when turning on the phone, the overwhelming majority of respondents found them “not acceptable at all.”

    The Internet’s most successful form of advertising to date, search links, was the most popular, with 33 percent finding them “somewhat” or “very” acceptable. A video clip appearing from a retail store nearby did not go over as well: 84 percent said the tactic was unacceptable. Other forms Harris asked about included text messages from companies, voice mail messages from a celebrity or spokesperson and audio ads that play while a call is connected.

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