Txt promo offers beer and privacy

Brewer Carlsberg is using short message service (SMS) in partnership with wireless marketing firm Flytxt to attract more...

Brewer Carlsberg is using short message service (SMS) in partnership with wireless marketing firm Flytxt to attract more customers when England play their World Cup football qualifying games.

The first 50 football lovers who respond to posters at 40 pubs in the Punch chain inviting them to send a promotional SMS message - "Carl" - will be sent a text voucher for a free pint of Carlsberg.

The voucher will carry a number which enables Flytxt to track the customer. Pamir Gelenbe, vice-president of Flytxt, said, "We need the permission of people before we text them."

He said that the company would only use the mobile phone number for future promotions if the customer had not opted out.

"It wouldn't do anyone any good if they didn't have an opt-out," he said.

Customers will be able to opt out by sending a text message, he added.

Gelenbe said a disclaimer about consumer protection on the promotional poster outside pubs should accommodate the requirements of the 1985 Companies Act.

This requires businesses to include their full address, company registration number, which country they are registered in and also, in some cases, to name their directors on all direct communications with customers.

New regulations are being drafted which are expected to extend the provisions of the Act to include e-mail and SMS messages.

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