Campaign mobile update: from bad to worse to what the heck?

A couple days ago I had some comments on Obama, Clinton and Edwards and their respective mobile marketing activities. Turns out I was wrong about a couple facts, but finding that out has now opened the door to some new questions and concerns.

Here’s where we currently stand:

Obama: I signed up for mobile alerts and have still received nothing. No campaign updates, no political insights, no event info, no polls, no community advocacy promotions, no nothing. I don’t expect much, but so far they’re undershooting a very low bar. Come on guys, it’s the high jump, not a limbo competition.

Clinton: Like Obama, only worse. When I signed up for Clinton’s mobile service I didn’t even get the double-opt-in sequence, which by the way, is a requirement of the Mobile Marketing Association. Mobile carriers don’t tolerate spam of any sort, and as such very clear guidelines have been put in place to assure that a subscriber only gets what he or she signed up for. So when you register for something like a mobile alert program, there’s an opt-in sequence and if you don’t complete it you are not added. Failure to obey these rules will get you cut off, immediately and unceremoniously, by the carriers. (Not that I think any US mobile provider is quite dumb enough to 86 a major presidential candidate, but still.) Obviously I have gotten no mobile content from this campaign.

Edwards: The worst case of all, and since I like him, the most troubling. Like Obama, no content. Like Clinton, no opt-in sequence. However, I did get an e-mail today from the campaign explaining why Elizabeth Edwards kneecapped Ann Coulter the other day (must-see TV, by the way). The problem? I didn’t sign up for e-mail alerts. Not on the site when trying to get mobile alerts and not anywhere else, either. I have no idea what happened here – is there a system malfunction that translates mobile sign-up as e-mail sign-up? Does the campaign assume that if I want one I want the other? Are they playing by Internet rules (find a name and pound it until it dies)? I really don’t know, and if I were pulling against Edwards I’d be somewhere between “don’t really care” and “feckin’ ecstatic.”

But I do care, and if what I’m experiencing is systematic then Edwards is rewarding people who opt-in by spamming them through another channel (and not providing the promised content). This is several kinds of wrong.

I have a line into the Edwards campaign and hopefully can point them to what I hope is a simple mix-up. The other two – well, they need to figure out what they’re doing before they start shooting themselves in foot…

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