Goodbye TV ads, hello cell phone messages

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Nokia_cell_phoneThe 2.5 billion mobile phones around the world can potentially reach a much bigger audience than the planet's billion or so personal computers. The number of mobile phones in use is also growing much faster than the number of computers, especially in poorer countries.

Advertisers estimate that nearly half of their messages miss the target market. But unlike the case of TVs, most people carry their cell phones along at all times.

Sounds like a perfect channel for delivering highly individualized ads? Vodafone and Virgin think so too. And though the idea of receiving advertisement on your phone may seem irritating, unsolicited text messages meet with limited opposition from consumers in the Middle East. The Economist has more.

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