On-hold music gives way to marketing pitches


Mexicans working in the U.S. no longer have to wait in boredom while their phone calls home from New York connect. Companies like VoodooDox (owned by Disney and others) are selling advertising to fill those idle seconds.

Unfortunately, the marketing seems to work. According to Advertising Age, 12% or more of the time callers respond to the whispered pitches for products such as money wiring (callers are prompted to press "1" if they want more info on the product advertised). Among the clients that use the service are radio stations, to torment callers waiting on the line to win free tickets to a concert.

I lump this together with spam, telemarketing and door-to-door solicting as types of marketing for which we can only blame ourselves. These would disappear overnight if we simply didn't respond. If we do respond to this new ad type, guess what? On-hold times will just increase, more time to wring a buck from our wallets.

So, if you find yourself being pitched in this way while on hold, do us all a favor and stick your hand in your pocket.