Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

FE, Education & Business Marketing: Quick, Effective, Low Cost Marketing

Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

Why I Hate BlueJacking!

BlueJacking is Interruption Marketing at its worse

Let Me Explain What BlueJacking is.  

BlueJacking is where  someone hijacks the BlueTooth on your phone and sends you a marketing and/or sales message.



Most of us will have received a message from our phone company when we arrive at an overseas airport.  The message will often tell you who the supplier in that country is and remind you about charges.   It can be annoying but the message does remind you about costs.

For me BlueJacking is much more annoying and I regard it as the worse sort of spam.  

It occurs when you pass, or look into, a shop on the high street and get a sales message sent to my BlueTooth.   You didn’t ask for this and find it the worse form of interruption advertising around at the moment.  

OK, so an advert on a billboard is a mild form of interruption marketing but it is easy to ignore.  There are lots of other forms of interruption marketing and they are also relativity mild. 

BUT BlueJacking is very intrusive as it is hard to ignore.  If my phone buzzes I’m far more likely to respond to it.

In some cases people will be charged for the message sent them .. that isn’t nice!


Positive BlueJacking

There are occasions where BlueJacking can be a positive experience. 

For example it can be used in an art gallery to provide information about articular exhibits.  Or in a botanic garden to provide a positive experience. 

But it should be something we are offered and opt into …. not get bombarded with.


The BlueJacking Cure  

I’ve a simple cure for BlueJacking.  Go into the shop that sends the message, ask to see the manager and explain, VERY LOUDLY, why you’ll never shop with them again.  Then plaster social media with the fact the shop has BlueJacked you and that you are never going there again. Ask your friends to share the post.


BlueJacking is what I regard as one of the facets of nasty marketing.    


Finally let me tell you what one of the suppliers of BlueTooth Marketing told me.  Apparently if I don’t want to receive messages through Bluetooth it is up to me to turn off my BlueTooth.  As I use Bluetooth to talk to my SatNav and other devices you can imagine my thoughts about this one.


Marketing is something we all need to get involved in if we run a business but there are forms of marketing I advise you never to get involved in .. BlueTooth Marketing is one of them. 

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2 Replies to “Why I Hate BlueJacking!”

  • I too use Bluetooth for hands free in the car but I turn it off as I turn the engine off. It’s just too open to abuse .
    You wouldn’t carry your WiFi around with you so why carry Bluetooth?
    Complaining to the retailer is not going to help. If it’s bringing people into their shop it will be used. Threats not to ever go there again are probably only real in a very small percentage of instances so will be ignored. It seems the only thing that will stop this pernicious abuse is turn bluetooth off when you, emphasis you, are not using it.

  • Mike

    To an extent I agree with you.

    If it brings in customers then retailers will use it. But that is short sighted as there is no measure how this controversial tactic alienates people. Sure, people may not go in to complain but if every day you walk past a retailer and get an annoying message then you might well get mightily hacked off. Loyal customers can leave in their droves and you don’t know why.

    I’ve tried to gather evidence on the efficacy of bluetooth marketing but other than what the sellers of buetooth advertising provide I’ve not found a reliable source. Of course the sellers say it is brilliant and the phrase “they would wouldn’t they” comes to mind.

    The problem is slick snake oil sales people sell this to gullible non-marketers (and some marketers) and do little to justify it beyond hype.

    In certain circumstances it will work. But at what cost?

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