The guidelines are the industry standard for cross-carrier mobile services such as text messaging, multimedia messaging, short code programs, interactive voice response and mobile Web. The new 5.0 guidelines outline acceptable and unacceptable practices for all players in the U.S. ecosystem.
“The newest version of the guidelines continue to clarify the MMA’s standards to ensure that companies who are trying to comply with the guidelines are able to follow them efficiently and effectively,” said Kristine van Dillen, director of industry initiatives and partnerships for MMA, New York.
MMA has more than 700 member companies representing over 40 countries.
Rules and regulations
The guidelines serve as the benchmark for the four largest U.S. wireless service providers, which are Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile USA.
The new 5.0 version is designed to eliminate the need for brands, agencies and marketers to refer to four separate carrier playbooks.
“The MMA’s guidelines have been the first and foremost source of information about the cross-carrier guidelines for mobile content programs,” Ms. van Dillen said. “The latest guidelines are the second in a series of changes to make the guidelines more transparent and relevant.
“Last June, the guidelines were updated to consolidate carrier playbooks and provide the transparency of all rule sets necessary for implementing a program,” she said. “The version 5.0 update is the beginning of a process to restructure and simplify the guidelines.
“You’ll find areas where redundancy is reduced and groupings of guidelines are clearer.”
Updates to the rules include:
- New guidelines for affiliate marketing for premium rate programs, with examples.
- New guidelines to ensure stop and help keywords work in each program’s native language.
- Updated guidelines to ensure clarity for all members of the mobile marketing ecosystem.
Version 5.0 includes a new format MMA IDs, which assist in finding related sections in previous versions and faster navigation with tiered sections such as general guidelines, standard rate, premium rate and free-to-end-user programs.
“The version 5.0 guidelines are primarily updates for appropriate affiliate and acquisition marketing practices, and changes that remove ambiguity about the implementation of certain guidelines,” Ms. van Dillen said. “The version 5.0 guidelines will not be effective until June 1, 2010.”