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Ads could be calling your cell phone

Cell phone in a Verizon store.

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: You can run. You can hide. But you'll never get away from advertisers. You don't pick up the phone? They'll spam you. You have TiVo? OK, they'll just text message you. Today, the Federal Trade Commission opens a town hall meeting on the new world of mobile advertising.
Nancy Marshall Genzer has more.


Nancy Marshall Genzer: Right now, mobile marketers just have to adhere to a voluntary code of conduct. The code says they can't send you a text message without your permission. The FTC's Lisa Hone says the question is whether more regulation is needed.

Lisa Hone: This is such a rapidly evolving area. One of the things we want to explore is, what's the right balance.

Jeff Chester of the Center For Digital Democracy says the balance needs to tip toward protecting consumers. He says marketers are going to start using our cell phones to track us, sending us coupons for nearby stores.

Jeff Chester: And many mobile marketers are salivating over the fact that they're going to be able to know pretty much exactly where you are.

Advertising agencies are already creating cell phone ad campaigns. Like this one featuring an animated puppy.

Puppy: Send me as a greeting or message to someone's e-mail or mobile phone. And I promise I won't ever chew your slippers or pee on the carpet.

But the puppy won't promise to leave you alone.

In Washington, I'm Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.

About the author

Nancy Marshall-Genzer is a senior reporter for Marketplace based in Washington, D.C. covering daily news.
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