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The need to only send marketing information to opt-in customers, Provision for opting out, the regulation against sending texts to unsubscribed numbers, need to define products or services promoted, and a requirement for full disclosure of information about who the marketer is or the company (Who you are). Without initial explicit consent, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, as well as the national, Do Not Call Implementation Act prohibits calling or sending a text message about marketing (Baker 10).
In the AT&T case, there was billing of consumers without their consent, obtaining consumers personal information without their willingness or knowledge, forced or deceptive subscriptions of clients, and failure to disclose full terms and conditions of services offered to clients. Billing for unauthorized third-party services that a consumer never paid for is also a mobile marketing violation in this case according to the Federal Trade Commission.
Harmful Consequences of marketing Law Violation to the Customer
Some of the negative impacts of violating mobile marketing rules include irritation and negative attitude towards mobile advertising. According to studies, the concepts of infotainment and irritation have a net adverse effect in turning the attitudes of the clients away from mobile advertising (Hongyan and Chen 10). Obtaining personal information from people without their knowledge is a violation of confidentiality evident in the AT&T case.
Possible Penalties Levied for Violating Legal Considerations
Compensation, as AT&T refunded over 88 million USD to clients billed for services they were unaware or did not consent to subscribe. Warning and reprimands, corrective orders, monetary penalties, permanent or temporary ban on data processing, order to rectify, and restriction of service provision or suspension of data transfers as defined under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that universally apply to countries forming the EU as determined in studies by Mittal, Sandeep, and Priyanka Sharma may also ensue.
Actions for Ethical Mobile Marketing
According to Murphy, Patrick E., et al., ethical marketing is a philosophy that direct marketing efforts. Ethical marketing entails a universal standard truth, and a high standard of morals. Issues of spamming clients need avoiding. Therefore, any ethical mobile marketer would only legally acquire information about clients as they will observe transparency about who they pay for product endorsement. An ethical marketer treats consumers reasonably depending on the nature of their products and consumer segregation based on age. Lastly, a moral action of a marketer will mean compliance to set rules by government agencies or other regulatory bodies.
Baker, William B. "Mobile MarkeTing CoMpliCaTes legal CoMplianCe." SciTech Law. 9 (2012): 10. (Federal Trade Commission)
Federal Trade Commission. "FTC Providing Over $88 Million In Refunds To AT&T Customers Who Were Subjected To Mobile Cramming". Federal Trade Commission, 2016, https://www.ftc.gov/news-events/press-releases/2016/12/ftc-providing-over-88-million-refunds-att-customers-who-were. Accessed 27 Aug 2018.
Hongyan, Lin, and Chen Zhankui. "Effects of Mobile Text Advertising on Consumer Purchase Intention: A Moderated Mediation Analysis." Frontiers in psychology 8 (2017): 1022.
Mittal, Sandeep, and Priyanka Sharma. "General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)." Asian Journal of Computer Science And Information Technology 7.4 (2017).
Murphy, Patrick E., et al. "Ethical marketing." (2005).
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