QR codes are everywhere. They're on direct mail flyers and they're on posters at the mall. There's even a tiny one on my mouthwash. Yet, while these codes keep popping up like dandelions, there must be a point where companies draw the line.Last week, while at the supermarket, I met my limit. No, it was not the QR code stuck to my bananas, but the code that graced the back of a city bus. The offer urged smartphone users to whip out their device and scan the code immediately, thereby encouraging drivers to use their handheld device while behind the wheel of a car. Though marketers may have thought this to be a unique way to connect with potential customers, they also neglected to remember that it's illegal to use a mobile device while driving in our state.
The obvious argument would be that these advertisements aim to engage the passenger. But, in a world where most feel invincible until disaster hits close to home, we know that interested drivers will not hesitate to throw caution to the wind and scan the code. (Oddly enough, these buses are also notorious for plastering gigantic advertisements across the side promoting local law firms seeking to represent victims of phone-induced accidents.)
We live in a time of frequent distraction, and these distractions can often lead to tragedy. I have no respect for anyone who's willing to risk their life and the lives of those around them for a senseless phone call or text message, and I refuse to engage with any company who would promote such actions, intentionally or not. Companies may be looking to embrace mobile in new ways, but they must also contemplate the consequences of their advertisements.