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Mobile advertising ‘stalled by over-caution’

May 26, 2009

Mobile Advertising UK - 15th June

Over-cautious brands and advertising agencies are responsible for stalling the growth in the mobile advertising market, according to mobile industry insiders.

At least that’s the findings of a survey by mobile events start-up Camerjam. The online survey, part of the build-up to Camerjam’s Mobile Advertising UK (MobAdUK) conference in London in June, found that nearly a third of respondents thought brands and agencies had been too slow buying into the idea of advertising on mobile.

Camerjam founder and mobile industry expert James Cameron, said: “The recent Volkswagen Tiguan campaign divided its budget between TV, print and online, allocating just one per cent of online spend to mobile. While it’s great that big brands are spending on mobile, the success of the medium depends primarily on greater budgets from the brands.”

Thirty one per cent of respondents to the survey which asked, “Why has mobile advertising been slow to grow?” blamed cautious brands. Other respondents said the fact that advertising must change for mobile (27 per cent) and operator greed (12 per cent) were the chief contributors to slow growth.

“More creative thinking is required to adapt advertising to mobile,” Cameron added. “Traditional broadcast advertising doesn’t work, and simply squeezing a banner onto a mobile screen has limited impact. Mobile advertising needs to offer a clear benefit to the user through free talk time or texts and access to free services and benefits from advertisers themselves.”

Operators also have a part to play. “Operators must make customer data accessible and useful to advertisers and significantly reduce the cut they take on traffic generated through their portals,” Cameron said.

MobAdUK speakers have also commented on the findings. Jonathan Mew, Head of Mobile at IAB UK, said: “Mobile is the most consumed medium in the daytime… (yet) still by far the smallest in terms of ad-spend” while MediaCom’s mobile manager, David Fieldhouse, said: “The advertising industry is ready and waiting to spend (on mobile) – the mobile industry needs to guide us, set standards and deliver the targeting that has long been promised.”

Each week up until MobAdUK on June 15, Camerjam will be asking a different question of mobile, advertising and brand experts. This week: Why are agencies and brands so cautious? 

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