By Carlo Longino, Fri Jul 16 20:15:00 GMT 2004

Thought Bluejacking was just a passing fad for teenagers? Think again. Advertisers -- including some respected brands -- are picking up on it.

The Mobile Technology Weblog brings word that The Economist sent out ads to people at an Asian business summit via bluejacking, following similar messages at a Hong Kong rugby tournament and an advertising awards ceremony. Russell rightly labels it "Bluespam".

It's amazing to see a company like The Economist send something like this out, when they'd never consider advertising through e-mail or SMS spam, and it's not likely that users will be amused by an unwanted, unwelcome intrusion on their device, regardless of how hot a novelty it is, much like location-based ads.

It's intrusions like this that really threaten Bluetooth, rather than any supposedly competing standard. Russell adds that the necessary equipment isn't expensive, and once somebody has it, it doesn't cost them anything to send out messages -- even "better" than e-mail spam.

How long will it take advertisers to figure out that interrupting people on their mobiles is not a good way to advertise? People simply won't stand for it, and carriers and handset manufacturers should take the threat seriously -- otherwise they'll just shut off SMS and Bluetooth all together.