The new guidelines, announced Nov. 13 by the Boulder, Colo., organization, are part of the MMAs list of best practices. Those best practices range from technical standards on banner ads to the requirement that consumers explicitly opt in before theyre sent text or multimedia messages containing ads.
The new guidelines update and simplify the previous technical standards for ad presentation, and they include new consumer protections. In addition, they extend the best practices to include video and television on wireless devices and Java and Brew downloads.
"The No. 1 role of the MMA is to educate and evangelize on how to use the mobile channel," said MMA Executive Director Laura Marriott. The organization helps its members know the best wireless media tactics, how to set advertising goals and how to apply the MMAs best practices, she said.
According to Marriott, the wireless carriers are members of the MMA and pay a major role in enforcing the practices. She said companies that do not adhere to the organizations guidelines can have their membership terminated. In addition, she said, carriers can refuse to carry the messages or other content of companies that do not follow guidelines.
"We are all working together to protect this channel," Marriott said, adding that to protect the mobile advertising channel they must protect the interests of consumers. "In a text-based world, the consumer must opt in to receiving a text message, in which case you can place an ad into the message," she explained. For Web content, she said, only the banner for an ad can appear, and the only way a consumer can see more is by clicking on the ad.
"It is the role of the association to ensure that we build a sustainable industry," Marriott said. "We protect consumer privacy and the brand, and the publishers information."
"The consumer best practices have been integrated into contracts," Marriott said, "so they become part of the contractual agreements between vendors and the carriers that service them." That makes it possible for everyone involved to keep advertising in check where necessary, and available where possible, she said.
Also on the MMAs agenda are guidelines for downloads and then video. "Were prioritizing according to the market," Marriott said.
The key to a successful mobile advertising market is to protect the privacy of consumers, according to Marriott. "Whats key is that the mobile device is a very personal means of communication," she said, "We ensure that we are on top of protecting the consumer experience and the consumer privacy."