Coffee-through-the-nose time as Hypertag Sets Up London Bluetooth Marketing Network: "Bluetooth marketing company Hypertag says it’s launching a network in London of 80 sites with its Bluetooth and infrared units, through a partnership with Boomerang Media"

My experience of Bluetooth marketing has been uniformly negative. On the rare occasions that a Bluetooth-enabled poster has worked (process: see poster, activate bluetooth, wait a while or send contact to poster, repeat, repeat, repeat - hardly friendly eh), I've received nothing but a GIF image with instructions for me to visit a web site. I've never seen anything better than this, and I'm actively interested in the stuff.

Technically I believe these devices have difficulty working out what handset you're using - which means they can't deliver appropriate content to your phone automatically. So it tends to be MP3 files (which most Bluetooth phones can play) or small images (which they can display).

But these companies seem to be plumbing new depths. Last time I was on the tube in London I used one - it demanded that I send a contact from my address book to it to "opt in". As a mobile techie I can see why this is - it's actually a well-intentioned means of avoiding spamming everyone who walks past - but Christ, what an horrific way of interacting with someone. A bit like asking them to fax you with their email address, so you can send them a telephone number to call. Jesus wept.

And sorry Carlo, but I don't find the prospect of marketers changing their offerings on-the-fly to be intrinsically interesting. The banner ad salesmen promised just this sort of thing, and it didn't lead to fantastically well-targeted, innovative or interesting advertising last time I checked.

Plus - changing your device name to opt in? Yeuch. Again - I can see the well-intentioned anti-spam thinking behind it, but the overall user experience is dreadful. Are people really going to navigate deep into phone settings menus just so you can send them an advert?