Who's using QR codes?

Not the affluent over 40s, it seems.

The terribly BCBG "Precious" magazine offers lots of glossy images promoting expensive European brands, with nary a QR code to offend the delicate eyes of its precious readers ...

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The somewhat younger and less elitist "STORY" magazine contains four QR codes...

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Youthful titles such as "JJ" and "CanCan" contain upwards of 40 QR codes within their 400 pages.

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(The blue post-it notes on the magazines mark the places where I found QR codes. When it came to JJ and CanCan, I simply stopped counting when I reached 40 QR codes).

And which advertisers are the most aggressive adopters of QR codes? Here's my gut feeling based on a quick look through the magazines:

(1) Cosmetic surgery clinics

(2) Cosmetics makers

(3) Diet product vendors

(4) Lingerie stores

Of course, there are also QR codes on ads for handbags (Coach) and other products, but the four categories above seem to be the most aggressive in their use of QR codes to make a connection with the customer.

I think it's telling that the top users of QR codes are the companies with services and products that customers might be somewhat shy about. The mobile phone is an ideal channel to communicate with people about these sensitive topics, because it is a truly personal device. (For example, a typical young consumer mighht share her PC with other members of the household - but the mobile phone will be used exclusively by her).