Unknown-2Mobile marketing company Digitonic has discovered a new holiday phenomenon created by the smartphone era – HITS, or holiday irritable text syndrome.
New research by the Glasgow-based business has found that nearly two-thirds of people are likely to complain to friends or family about being contacted by a company while they are abroad on holiday.
A survey commissioned by Digitonic found that 65% of people in the UK said they would be either “very likely” or “quite likely” to criticise a brand to their friends or family if they were marketed to through their mobile phones while abroad.
Young people are the most likely age group to complain about being contacted by a company while on holiday, with 78% of 16-24 year-olds saying they would be inclined to tell their family or friends. Meanwhile, 40.3% of the 55 and over group said they would be “very likely” to do so (63.2% when combined with those who responded “quite likely”).
People from the North East of England were the most likely to complain to their friends and family, with 74.6% of respondents. That placed it ahead of all other regions of the UK, followed by Scotland where 69.9% of people said they would be likely to tell their peers.
The same survey also found that a further 29.2% said that data roaming tariffs were one of their biggest holiday bugbears. Around one in nine people told the survey they were most bothered by sales calls and marketing texts while abroad.
Grant Fraser, managing director of Digitonic, said that, following the big holiday rush a fortnight ago, brands were needlessly leaving themselves open to reputational damage.
In response to the trend of unwelcome mobile marketing to consumers who are abroad on holiday, Digitonic has created the Advanced Mobile Validation Service (AMVS), which can tell brands in real-time which handsets are abroad, as well as which numbers are invalid or if the handset is switched off.
 The survey was conducted on 1,030 adults from every region of the UK, across a variety of age groups. It suggested that around 5% of respondents form across the country do not own a mobile phone.

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