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GSMA sponsors mobile advertising

Mobile industry body the GSM Association (GSMA), launched its Mobile Advertising Programme on Tuesday, designed to drive the development and adoption of advertising on mobile phones.

The programme is being led by the GSMA’s Mobile Media and Entertainment Group, and will work with players from across the marketing, advertising and mobile industry sectors to promote a consistent approach to the delivery and measurement of mobile advertising.

The aim of the initiative is to establish standards that include metrics for measuring the effectiveness of mobile adverts and for optimising the commercial models and formats of adverts for different kinds of mobile content.

Codes of conduct will facilitate the development of marketing techniques that will enhance, rather than diminish the mobile user’s experience and properly protect personal privacy, the organisation said.

Figures from industry researcher M:Metrics, published on Tuesday, point to a clear potential for mobile advertising across Europe.

The vast majority of handsets in the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy are equipped with a mobile web browser. Italy, with 86 per cent, has the lowest number of browser equipped phones.

During an average month in the first quarter of 2007, 20 per cent of Italy’s 44 million mobile subscribers accessed the mobile web via their browser or a downloaded application. A significant 61.7 per cent also continue to do so at least once a week.

But while Italy leads Europe in terms of mobile content access, Germany brings up the other end of the scale with just 8 per cent of users accessing the mobile web during the month. However, 37.5 percent of Germany’s 46 million strong mobile user base, access news or info via their mobile at least once a week.

“The moment for mobile advertising standards has absolutely arrived,” said Evan Neufeld, vice president and senior analyst at M:Metrics. “Our data shows that consumers from the most sought-after demographics are incorporating the mobile web into the fabric of their daily lives.”

Bill Gajda, chief commercial officer for the GSMA, said: “The mobile phone can offer advertisers a level of immediacy, intimacy and personalisation that cannot be matched by other mediums.

“The mobile industry, the advertising industry and the content industry need to come together to better define what advertising should look like on a mobile phone and how its effectiveness should be measured,” said Gadja.

The founding members of the GSMA’s Media & Entertainment Group include AT&T (Formerly Cingular Wireless), 3, KTF, Orange, Smart Communications, T-Mobile and Telefonica O2 Europe.

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