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CTIA shuns San Francisco for trade show

Takes bat home over cell-labelling ordinance

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US mobile trade body the CTIA won't be going to San Francisco for its annual trade show again, in protest at the city's ordinance on cellphone labelling.

The ordinance requires those selling mobile phones to provide radiative information at the point of sale, and was approved by the San Francisco Board Of Supervisors last week. The CTIA reckons that's pointless and confusing to customers, so has decided that next year the annual CTIA show will go elsewhere, taking its 15,000-or-so attendees with it.

“We are disappointed to announce that the 2010 CTIA Enterprise and Applications show in October will be the last one we have in San Francisco for the foreseeable future,” the body said in a statement, sniffily pointing out that (by its estimates) the show brought $80m to the local economy over the last seven years.

Not that the autumn show is always in San Francisco anyway – last year it was in San Diego – but it's the only stick that the CTIA has to wield in protest at the new labelling requirements.

The CTIA believes the labelling will "potentially mislead consumers... suggesting that some phones are 'safer' than others", while the ordinance's backer says it's "about helping people make informed choices", but more information isn't always a good thing.

The fact is that few locals probably care much about the issue, and more labelling wasn't going to be very controversial. Removing a trade show which brought $80m to the economy should generate a little more attention, and we wouldn't be surprised to see both city and trade body quietly back-tracking once the sabre-rattling is over. ®

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