Attack of the Bluetooth Advertiser, Kuwait


So I sat down for my weekly meal at ‘Entrecote‘ in Fenar Mall. I ordered the usual medium steak, diet coke and extra ‘green’ sauce to douse those crispy yellow fries with. I was starving and urged the waitress to bring the bread out as soon as possible.

Beep Beep….my phone ‘message alert’ went off.

It was a Bluetooth message stating something along the lines of ‘Out of the Blue wants to send you a message.’ I looked around the largely empty restaurant in search of the usual culprits….Hmmm…..A couple of old folks on the side, a married looking couple in the far corner and the waitresses.

Out of curiosity I opened the file and was greeted by an ‘Animated GIF’ file asking me to call an Advertising Company – if I wanted to place a similar Bluetooth ad. At first I thought it was pretty cool, I had never seen advertising like this before anywhere in the world let alone Kuwait.

I thought nothing more of it.

A couple of days later, whilst sitting down to eat my meal at Biella in Marina – I got another Bluetooth message – again from “Out of the Blue.” I opened it and got the same exact message. Call XXX for advertising. This time, my reaction was different – I actually felt pretty annoyed.

I realized that this company must have a Bluetooth system lurking throughout various locations in Kuwait. The machine must scan the area and look to catch you (literally) with an ‘Out of the Blue’ advertising campaign – whether you like it or not.

Advertising is a sensitive issue. Companies spend millions of dollars a year trying to come up with the latest ‘catch phrase / slogan’ to capture the ever flakey consumer’s imagination. TV commercials are forced throughout your favourite shows for a reason – because they make massive amounts of money for the broadcasting stations.

The one difference between TV Advertising and Bluetooth Advertising is choice. I have a remote control, I don’t have to watch what’s on the screen.

Bluetooth Advertising is a completely different ball game – why should I have to switch off my Bluetooth to avoid such blatant spamming? Why should I be disturbed by a ‘message alert’ from someone /something I don’t even know? What about those who wear wireless head sets or connect up to their Laptops via Bluetooth? Are they supposed to switch of their units to avoid these messages?

I’m not happy with this service as I feel it’s a blatant intrusion on privacy. Let’s hope it doesn’t catch on, I will get pretty angry having to keep rejecting or even deleting these messages seemingly ‘out of the blue.’

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12 Responses to Attack of the Bluetooth Advertiser, Kuwait

  1. Borzaiga says:

    alot of people use bluetooth and its kind of smart to get advertising into that trend. what u said about it being annoying OOOH YEAH IT WILL BE , u just wait when banks advertise on that system and ur phone wont stop beeping lol !! that would be funny all fones beep in the same time, as all of them get bluetoothed. i seriously wouldnt want that sort of advertising to develop.

  2. Fonzy says:

    yeah man, same thing happened to me. i got it several times at different locations in marina mall. i think it covers all grounds of the mall and they send it out every few hours and all phones in the vicinity receive it. I am sure that this will spread all over kuwait. Recently I got one while at work!! this will be the new advertising trend, i can tell u that and it will be the most annoying; am totally against it.

  3. Fallen Angel says:

    An XXX advertisement? Hmmm, I wonder what they are selling :p

    It’s been almost like a year since I’ve been to Kuwait, so I’m still new to the whole “Bluetooth advertisement”…the US still hasn’t caught the fever yet. As a matter of fact, most Americans have no idea what a “Bluetooth” is…which isn’t a problem to me 🙂

  4. Mark says:

    You are supposed to get max 3 sms’s in 1 week. The software actually tracks your wear abouts in malls and stuff.

    http://www.248am.com/mark/interesting/about-bluetooth-advertising-in-kuwait/

  5. Fonzy says:

    Edited out by Toxy

  6. toxy says:

    Borz: well dude, you’re in the AD business make sure you kill it off! I think people will get pretty angry with the supposed ‘Advertiser’….I know I would.

    Fonz: true man, complain about it to the Advertising Company if it becomes epidemic, I know I will be 🙂

    Fallen Angel: That’s pretty true. The US seems light years BEHIND European and Middle East Standards of Technology. Their handsets are all CDMA – you can’t just change Sim Cards into another phone.

    Mark: Thanks for the link – what the hell is that about tracking your whereabouts with MAC Addresses? That’s insane…..they can know where you are at anytime they want and track your habbits….wth?

    Fonz: I’ll be in touch with u later about that Skunk thing…. I’ll edit out those comments from here.

  7. So, tell me…how was the steak?

    😛

    I hate the stupid msgs i get from wataniya…now theyre pestering us thru bluetooth?! Ok i always have miine switched off all the time….but still…its the principle.

    Will it ever end!?

  8. O.J. says:

    Toxy, at least with Bluetooth messages, you DO have a choice which is to switch it off whilst in public areas. Whereas with SMS advertising you DO NOT have a choice. You cannot turn off your SMS service. So I think SMS advertising is much more annoying than Bluetooth advertising. At least you have some sort of control.

    I never have my Bluetooth in public areas anyway, because I start getting messages and files from weird people. In Jordan, I’ve heard stories of guys and girls picking each other up via Bluetooth (hmmm, that could be an interesting topic to blog about actually).

    So Toxy, next time you’re sitting in Entrecote enjoying your steak, fries, and “green” sauce, turn your bluetooth off and enjoy your meal 🙂

  9. Marzouq says:

    All these messages to my phone are annoying the hell out of me! Period! Im not going to get anything from the damn advertisement!

  10. Maze says:

    It’s cool to advertise by bluetooth…

    By the way we like the same restaurants…i go to l’entrecote and to biella!

  11. toxy says:

    Delicately Realistic: Steak was great (as usual)….:) Oh, I get at least 2 messages a week from Wataniya too. Somehow, I don’t find those as intrusive though!
    Oj: Good advice, I don’t usually even have my Bluetooth on as it drains the battery!
    Marzouq: True dude, they should pay us to accept them…Now there’s an idea. Take off 100 fils per ad that we receive from Wataniya or MTC…Hmmm.
    Maze: It sucks if it’s your phone! Indeed, And good choice on the restaurants!

  12. farinfrared says:

    If you’re going to live in a free enterprise, free country; advertising is the key to new, small business to survive. Most small businesses do not have the budget for TV/radio advertising. If it weren’t for alternate advertising avenues, you may not have the technology at your fingertips to write this comment for others to see. While sometimes annoying, I’m for almost any way to spread the money around and slow the incredible amounts of ending up in the hands of a very few (Walmart, Target, huge grocery conglomerates), that exploit its employees with very low wages and no benefits because they do not allow full time employees. Where I live, one person’s family owns almost all of the auto franchises. The lower the cost of advertising, the greater the chance for small businesses to thrive.

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