A California-based mobile marketing firm has agreed to pay the Florida Attorney General’s office $1M to avoid legal charges stemming from a variety of mobile content campaigns that were deemed “deceptive and misleading” after several complaints were filed with the AG’s office.
The company in question, “Mobile Messenger,” operates several online campaigns that direct mobile users to sign up for a variety of mobile content subscriptions such as horoscopes, “flirting tips,” and other content targeted more for younger users. The problem lies in the disclosure methods used by Mobile Messenger when signing up its users.
According to the Florida AG, many of the ads and subsequent transaction pages they pointed to failed to conspicuously disclose the true cost of the content. To avoid being faced with charges of violating state “CyberFraud” laws, the company decided to pony up the dough. You may remember, other mobile and online marketing firms have faced similar settlements from the state of Florida- M-Qube, AzoogleAds, and even AT&T have all payed settlements to the tune of $500k, $1M, and $2.5M respectively to the state of Florida. In other words, Florida is serious about its CyberFraud laws, and it intends to send a loud message.
Things like this always shed a bad light on mobile marketing as a whole and feeds in to the criticism that mobile marketing is plauged by deceptive practices and methods when in reality it’s far from the truth. While industry regulation is still evolving, it’s definitely there, and more times than not mobile campaigns are fully compliant, non-obtrusive, and abide by all rules and regulations.