SMS initially received negative media coverage in many parts of Europe for being a new form of spam as some advertisers purchased lists and sent unsolicited content to consumer's phones; however, as guidelines are put in place by the mobile operators, SMS has become the most popular branch of the Mobile Marketing industry with several 100 million advertising SMS sent out every month in Europe alone.In Europe the first cross-carrier SMS shortcode campaign was run by Txtbomb in 2001 for an Island Records release, In North America it was the Labatt Brewing Company in 2002.In India, however, government's efforts of creating National Do Not Call Registry have helped cellphone users to stop SMS advertisements by sending a simple SMS or calling 1909.Mobile marketing approaches through SMS has expanded rapidly in Europe and Asia as a new channel to reach the consumer.
On average, SMS messages are read within four minutes, making them highly convertible.
Due to the high price of short codes of 0–00 a month, many small businesses opt to share a short code in order to reduce monthly costs.
The mobile operators vet every short code application before provisioning and monitor the service to make sure it does not diverge from its original service description.
These guidelines are established in the CTIA Playbook and the MMA Consumer Best Practices Guidelines which are followed by all mobile marketers in the United States.
In Canada, opt in will be mandatory once the Fighting Internet and Wireless Spam Act comes in force in mid-2012.