MARCH 2, 2013

NR # 3031B

Probe on cellphone use in advertising pushed
A lawmaker has urged a House committee to direct the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to inquire on the use of cellular phones of telecommunications companies as an advertising medium. Rep. Winston Castelo (2nd District, Quezon City) filed House Resolution 3021 urging the House Committee on Information and Communications Technology to conduct a probe when sessions resume on why telecommunications companies do not stop announcing the innovations they make on the system the latest of which is the use of its cellular phone as an advertising medium. “Owner’s cellular phone unit is used as an advertising venue without getting paid to the point that all sorts of messages are being sent selling all sorts of stuff to the extent that even messages promoting politicians come into or appear into the owner’s cellular phone screen which proves to be disturbing, annoying and even irritating,” Castelo said. Castelo said mobile phones are becoming the new advertising media, raising hopes of owners of telecommunications companies for continuously growing revenues. At present, 9 out of 10 Filipinos own cellular phones. According to Castelo, mobile phone subscribers are a captive market, ideal and inexpensive sales tools with practically no cost at present. The telcos, however, have not recognized the rising complaints of owners of cellular phones who are pestered with advertising messages they never solicit,” Castelo added. Most of them complain how the growing number of advertisers finds a way of getting hold of the numbers of cellular phones without them giving consent, Castelo said. “Apparently, some insiders in these telecommunications companies make a killing by selling the numbers for a fee, a practice inimical to good order and fair business practice,” Castelo said. Globe Telecom president and CEO Ernest L. Cu admitted that through mobile phones sellers connect directly to buyers and can focus their marketing to targeted audience. “By advertising through cell phones, a manufacturer can reach as much as 90 percent of the population,” Cu said. Castelo said NTC should inquire on these telcos why they use cellular phones in their advertisements and issue appropriate guidelines on the matter to protect end-users or consumers’ interests. (30) lvc

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