FTC Says it will Police Mobile Content

An FTC commissioner warned cellphone content providers they need to do a better job of disclosing the costs consumers incur when clicking or downloading services for their mobile devices, according to a new AdAge report.

The report said that Jonathan Leibowitz, the commissioner, said that messaging, games and video services marketed to children and teens are a particular concern because of young people’s eagerness to adopt new technologies. “Kids are usually more facile and fearless with technology than their parents—quick to click first and ask questions later,” he said. “A mobile phone that gives them easy access to content and purchasing power makes them easy prey for aggressive marketers,” he said.

Leibowitz cited SMS text-messaging offers from marketers that do not clearly disclose the costs for using the service as an example, but he also indicated much broader concerns than that. “We believe in self-regulation, but we are going to police the wireless space,” he said.