Express QR Code Fail

One size doesn’t fit all, especially in mobile marketing. This week I received a catalog from clothing store Express, with a big QR code on the back cover. What caught my eye was “Standard messaging & data rates may apply” below the QR code.

Express QR Code Fail

Side Note: CTIA has recently changed their requirements for the whole standard messaging & data rates stuff. The only approved language includes the following variations:

  • Message and Data Rates May Apply
  • Msg&data rates may apply
  • Msg&data rates may apply.

Back to my story… So whenever I see a QR code advertised with the “messaging rates” disclaimer, I get excited because I know there is an SMS campaign hiding behind that QR code. I scanned the QR code, but was directed to a video, no SMS… WTF?

Then I realized what had happened, Express was just re-using the same legal disclaimer from their popular SMS marketing campaign, even though it made no sense for a QR code. You can see below an ad for their SMS marketing campaign telling customers to text into 397737, with the same terms as the QR code advertisement.

Express SMS Marketing Campaign

Obviously this isn’t the end of the world, but it does bring up a good point when planning to advertise any mobile campaign. Legal disclaimers aren’t all the same, it’s always a good idea to do your research on each type of mobile marketing and the legal disclosures that go along with them.


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