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Industry gearing up for mobile ads push

Although the mobile advertising industry is still in the early stage of development, operators and advertisers recognise its potential and are prepared to face the challenges, according to the findings of a recent forum on the subject.

A mobile advertising forum, held in London earlier this month, brought together players from across the mobile advertising spectrum, including network operators, technology vendors and ad representatives to explore the opportunities and challenges presented by mobile advertising.

Consensus was reached that the main driver for mobile advertising can be attributed to a decline in the effectiveness of traditional mediums. Opinions were more varied on its revenue potential, with marketing representatives claiming that it currently fails to command a separate budget. While operators claimed that brand protection is still the number one priority when considering mobile advertising.

As for possible delivery mechanisms, debate is still rife as to the best solution, although participants were agreed on the importance of protecting the user experience. The fragmentation of devices and operating software was also highlighted as a complication for delivery, with attendees believing that this added layer of complexity is slowing mobile advertising’s development and delivery.

Ben Wood, director at analyst CCS Insight, said, “One key insight that emerged is that while privacy is essential to the vast majority of consumers, those in the 18 to 24 year age bracket are more likely to provide personal data to obtain advertising-funded mobile services than users from any other demographic.”

Michel Quazza, chief executive officer of SurfKitchen, the user interface and applications developer that organised the forum, said: “Industry observers have been quick to identify mobile advertising as a lucrative opportunity. Mobile phones, as personal communications devices, allow advertisers to segment and personally target mobile phone users.”

But Quazza added, “If the mobile and media industries are to capitalise on the relationship users have with their mobile devices, they must keep protecting the user experience front of mind and consider the impact that different types of mobile advertising will have on how users relate to their phones.”


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