Mobile promos drop off McDonald's menu

McDonald's has pulled the plug on a pioneering marketing push based on text messaging, but the move doesn't bode ill for such campaigns, say analysts.

In the past few weeks, the fast food chain closed a free U.K. service that sent text messages about special deals to members' phones, according to a representative for marketing agency 12snap, which ran the campaign.

McDonald's decision to end the promotional push, one of the first to tap into text messaging, was part of an overall cut in European marketing budgets, said the 12snap representative. "They've looked at marketing across the board--not just mobile--and had to make some cuts," the representative said. "It was right last year, but not now."

Despite the McDonald's move, analysts weren't prepared to pronounce text-messaging marketing campaigns dead on arrival, given recently renewed interest from U.S. carriers in the new form of promotion.

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