'M' is for mired

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The hype about wireless advertising and technology arrived in 2000 and was readily embraced by an industry rocked by depressed stock prices and dot-coms on the brink of extinction. Jupiter Research predicted that by 2004, 95 million people would have browser-enabled cell phones.

Agencies ramped up wireless offerings and marketers began to test wireless, permission-based advertising. In May, the Internet Advertising Bureau merged its Wireless Ad Council with the Wireless Advertising Industry Association to form the Wireless Advertising Association. In October, Advertising.com, an ad-serving company specializing in wireless ads, launched the Wireless Advertising Marketing & Measurement Initiative. WAMMI is testing six channels of possible wireless marketing, including messaging, wireless Internet, location-based advertising and time-sensitive advertising. Participants of the wireless test include Unilever, Catalina Marketing and San Francisco-based interactive agencies Lot21 Advertising and Organic. But by December, wireless marketing-or "m-commerce"--was still mostly mired in tests, bogged down by a lack of industry standards.

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