There’s a catch: “free” iPhone 4 bumpers to be adorned with ads

Cupertino, CA — Just when you thought it was safe to put a free bumper on your iPhone 4, Apple has announced one little “gotcha.”

To help defray the $175 million cost of the giveaway, those free bumpers will be emblazoned with promotional messages from a variety of companies — a list that currently includes Roto-Rooter, Hormel Ham and Cruex.

“We said our bumpers would be free,” says Apple spokesman Nicolas Bikel, “we never said they’d be advertising-free. Somebody’s got to pay for these things.”

The program, dubbed “BumperTalk,” has produced such intense bidding amongst advertisers, some analysts predict it will rival iAds as a new Apple profit center.

First iAds, now BumperTalk ... what next? (click to enlarge)

Apple, of course, maintains strict control over BumperTalk content. All messages must be 30 characters or less, appear in Apple’s proprietary Myriad font, and contain neither sexually suggestive words nor words that rhyme with sexually suggestive words.

Despite the restrictions, advertisers are squealing with delight.

“With Apple, we can put our brand where it needs to be,” says Maria Beckinworth, VP of Product Marketing at Cruex, “right at the intersection of telecommunications and antifungal spray.”

And brace yourself, Apple purists. iAds and BumperTalk are just a taste of the future. With Apple determined to put ads everywhere Google can’t, new ad-encrusted computers are already rumored to be in the works. iMacDonald’s, anyone?


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