Topics that Prof. Richardson discussed in the presentation April 10th, 2006 in

1. Mobile commerce issues
Some of the key factors that are driving the evolution and adoption of mobile computing applications is a consequence of:

how other jurisdictions are thinking about future m-commerce considerations re: misleading advertising

Australia says "There exists a robust regulatory framework within Australia at both Commonwealth and State and Territory levels prohibiting misleading representations. Should legislation also provide for minimum information that should be disclosed to consumers at the time of making a purchase?"
the Australian paper also looks at the EU legislation for Misleading Advertising Directive

The Australian Communications Authority has registered the Australian eMarketing Code of Practice. 
Services that have already taken off in Australia include SMS-based voting for popular television programs, mobile phone ring tone downloads, and the use of mobile phones to make payments for car parking, soft drinks, and concert and airline tickets.

M-commerce and false or misleading advertising
- much seems to be in the realm of claims about the capability of products 
  • area coverage
  • durability of power source, batteries; number of hours of operational capability
  • compatibility with other devices
  • ability to run particular programs
  • degree of clarity and colour on viewing screens
if people want to challenge these claims they have 2 problems
1. many claims are subjectively based and a matter of personal opinion - De gustibus non est disputandum
2. the challenges to technical capability often involve proprietary software or patented hardware for which the usage test scores are only held by the manufactures


GPS Global Positioning System
The consequences of GPS applications and location determinant marketing practices
                                           o location determinant marketing practices
GPS has three parts –

1. Satellites,
2. Receivers,
3. Ground stations
Vulnerability is the signal reaching the satellites as relayed by the ground stations
Extreme weather, hurricanes, typhoons etc. can effect the ability of a signal to reach the satellites, therefore making a GPS reading difficult.
People who are developing a business based on GPS information need to develop contingencies to deal with this interruption
- misleading advertising could be related to expressions of coverage, down time, and other operational circumstances
- reality is, GPS does not have 100% coverage due to weather and geographic conditions

advanced forms of GPS
SPS - Standard Positioning Systems - within 100 metres
PPS - Precise Positioning System - within a few metres.

Many GPS devices in 2006 use PPS, but to slight variations in the orbit path of the satellites, a reading on one day can be different than another reading a day later, by a distance of as much as 10 or 15 metres

RFID -  Radio Frequency Identification - location based technology
to be competitive, SMEs will need government assistance for the costs of implementation

2. Search Engines
new functions and features Competitiveness of Canadian online vendors Search Engine Integrity
In the U.S., the Federal Trade Commission is dealing with a complaint filed by Commercial Alert requesting that the FTC investigate if Alta Vista Co., AOL Time Warner, Inc., Microsoft Corp., and other are violating Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, by failing to disclose that advertisements are inserted into search engine results lists.
This has implications for the public's perception of what is indeed a high rank and the perceived value of ranking in search engines.

3. Web culture 2006,
   o podcasting
   o viral marketing (buzz marketing)
- dissatisfaction with Mass Advertising and associated expense
- will get hijacked by fakers
4 main types of viral messages:
             o Pass-along
             o Incentivised viral: Offering rewards for providing someone's address.
             o Undercover (Stealth marketing)
             o "Edgy gossip/Buzz Marketing"
low costs, great reach, high credibility, high efficiency
If done poorly, viral marketing can lead to large-scale spam issues.

   o blogs, splogs
- problem is searchability
- content being created too fast to be read and indexed

   o virtual reality content VRML
Many VRML vendors implemented a different subset of the spec, and it never gained traction. And so 3D on the Web faded away. It turns out that VRML lives on in its XML flavor, X3D, which has grown to encompass VRML's siblings H-Anim (Humanoid Animation) and GeoVRML.
Myvirtualmodel since 1997 but not as many have picked up on this


4. payment systems
   o the importance of having an accepted way of exchanging value for
                    B2C, B2B and G2B and G2C activities online
   o players, credit card companies (strengths and weakness, ie. credit card fraud, merchant account status),
- merchant account status harder to get for new small enterprises
banks, players like PayPal (now part of eBay),
 A specific event/activity/circumstance to launch
SARS III or Avian Flu – re: contactless payment systems
   o national economic sovereignty issues re: money
Microsoft dollars? – we already have Canadian Tire money
Theodore F. di Stefano wrote in this week an article titled “Are We Headed Toward One World Currency?”
- he explains E-banking is another factor that lends itself to some sort of currency amalgamation. With this type of banking, funds routinely cross borders without going through traditional banking systems.
Four influencing Environments
   o Competitive Environment
   o Technological Environment
   o Economic Environment
   o Political / Legal / Regulatory Environment

Nationalism is a deterrent to currency amalgamation
- we have seen the merging of some nation states, like the EU and NAFTA in the late 1990’s, but we have also seen the break-up of unions, the CCCP and Yugoslavia so it is hard to know where this will go
- will have to watch the progress of the Euro

   o The Canadian Payments Association (CPA) has been working for approximately two years on designing a new method of electronic payments
– mostly dealing with large value transactions
Percentage of Paper Versus Electronic Items Flowing Through the ACSS (Automated Clearing Settlement System) has been over 70% for three years for electronic but not yet over 80%

A prepaid MasterCard-branded debit card, the Allow Card, has been launched in the US to give teenagers and young adults access to electronic payments


5. Security issues
   o identity theft
   o DNS attacks as a part of intensified global corporate competition
   o spyware as part of CRM, overt and covert
   o biometrics

6. Bait and Switch

Bait and switch is not strictly speaking an online phenomenon, it has been around for years, most noticeably among companies advertising cameras and computer peripherals - but it has really taken off online.

Example - you go to buy a current Nikon camera as advertised, when you actually go to the store, the clerk says, the only one we have left are in combo packages that include the 35-70 zoom lens. You say I just want the regular 50 mm lens - they say none of those packages in stock, leaving you the only option of paying more for the package with the more expensive lens.

A clear example of bait and switch for a camera discussed in an online forum

The features of web pages allow for the arrangement of information in a way that is much more complex than a paper flyer or newspaper ad.
Companies selling ICT products have been enticed by the chance to sell to unsophisticated consumers through marketing techniques that are less than honest and direct.
One of the techniques being used effectively in 2006 is bait and switch
Simply put, you use attractive images and text on a web page to convince the potential buyer to make a puchase, then once they are sucked in to paying, you substitute a lower quality item and ship it to them and thereby save money - if they complain you can excuse yourself by saying that they clicked on an agreement that they would accept the same or similar product if "quantities not available as shown"
Some consumer advocated are accusing ICT companies of deliberating switching - even if inventory in stock
The problem has become so widespread that class action suits are taking place
- for example, in 2005, Dell was taken to court for a bait and switch situation
- this is not a new problem, posted an article in 2001 about companies substituting services not agreed to by the customer

Prof. Tim Richardson
School of Marketing and eBusiness, Seneca College            
Dept. of Management, University of Toronto at Scarborough
Tel: 416-491-5050 x 6064
  Prof. W. Tim G. Richardson ©