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ShopAlerts brings location-based advertising to AT&T phones

Zach Epstein
February 28th, 2011 at 8:19 PM

AT&T on Monday announced ShopAlerts, a new mobile advertising service that will introduce location-based ads to the AT&T wireless network. The service, developed by AT&T Advanced Ad Solutions and Placecast, will serve advertisements and special offers to subscribers’ cell phones when they are in the vicinity of a participating retailer. Initially, the service is only being offered in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco. “We are proud to take mobile marketing into the future with this unique offering that is being embraced by consumers and brands alike,” said Greg McCastle, senior vice president of AT&T Advanced Ad Solutions, in a statement. “ShopAlerts by AT&T enables brands/advertisers to help link consumer engagement with activation and ultimately to the point of sale.” The ShopAlerts service will be opt-in, meaning AT&T subscribers must elect to receive ShopAlerts ads before any related advertisements or deals will be delivered to their devices. AT&T’s full press release can be found after the break.

AT&T Advanced Ad Solutions Launches ShopAlerts by AT&T, a Groundbreaking Location-Based Marketing Service Featuring Special Offers from Leading National Brands

Innovative opt-in service enables marketers to engage consumers on their mobile phones and drive them to the point of sale with relevant location-specific offers

FEBRUARY 28, 2011 — AT&T Advanced Ad Solutions and Placecast today announced an agreement to provide ShopAlertsby AT&T, which are special offers delivered to consumers via their mobile phones when they are near a participating store or brand. The unique location-based mobile messaging service will be available for AT&T* customers in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco who have opted-in to receive such messages. AT&T is the first U.S. mobile carrier to offer a large-scale, location-based mobile marketing program to consumers and advertisers.

The innovative ShopAlerts by AT&T service will provide consumers with valuable offers, rewards, and coupons based on their specific geographic location. AT&T creates a “geo-fence” – a virtual-perimeter around a retail location, event, or any geographic area – in order to deliver appropriate location-specific messages.  Participating consumers receive relevant marketing messages when they are inside a geo-fence, benefiting both consumers and marketers.

The messages are enhanced with information such as weather, traffic, and local shopping area details to more effectively engage consumers.  Numerous companies have recognized the value of the ShopAlerts by AT&T service, and the initial presenting sponsors will be HP, Kmart, JetBlue, SC Johnson, Kibbles ‘n Bits, Nature’s Recipe and the National Milk Mustache “got milk?” Campaign.

“We are proud to take mobile marketing into the future with this unique offering that is being embraced by consumers and brands alike,” said Greg McCastle, senior vice president of AT&T Advanced Ad Solutions. “ShopAlerts by AT&T enables brands/advertisers to help link consumer engagement with activation and ultimately to the point of sale.”

“Kmart has embraced technology to enhance our customer’s experience and maintain our value proposition,” said Mark Snyder, chief marketing officer of Kmart. “ShopAlerts allows us to deliver this value directly to our customers through innovative technology.”

Katie Thompson, associate director of digital media of JetBlue, notes that ShopAlerts is a clear fit for many advertisers, including beyond just those with brick and mortar locations. “We were excited about the opportunity because it takes the onus off of the advertiser to build a large database of opt-in users that the true power of the technology can be harnessed,” said Thompson.

Pioneering Location-based Technology and Media

The program combines the location-based technology platform and expertise of San Francisco-based Placecast with AT&T’s large subscriber base, outstanding Web and mobile media properties, and strong relationships with national advertisers and media buyers. The initiative marks the first time a major operator in the U.S. is introducing such a program at scale.

“At HP, we are continuously implementing innovative new marketing platforms that will resonate with our customers’ mobile lifestyles,” said Tariq Hassan, vice president, Worldwide Marketing and Communications, Imaging and Printing Group, HP.  “ShopAlerts by AT&T service enables us to deliver relevant, location-based content to our customers.”

“Placecast is excited to work with AT&T to deliver a new generation of opt-in marketing services focused on delivering relevant messages to consumers when they are in a mindset to make a purchase. Retailers and subscribers alike benefit from messages with tailored offers available nearby, based on their trusted relationship with AT&T,” says Alistair Goodman, CEO of Placecast.

Customers in participating markets can visit the customer portal and opt-in at

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

Zach Epstein

Zach Epstein has worked in and around ICT for more than 15 years, first in marketing and business development with two private telcos, then as a writer and editor covering business news, consumer electronics and telecommunications. Zach’s work has been quoted by countless top news publications in the US and around the world. He was also recently named one of the world's top-10 “power mobile influencers” by Forbes, as well as one of Inc. Magazine's top-30 Internet of Things experts.

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