Mobile firms seeing ads coming to handsets

CIOL Bureau
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PARIS, FRANCE: The long awaited uptake of the potentially lucrative mobile advertising market by advertisers and consumers has actually started to happen, companies from Canada, Egypt and Poland said on Friday.


Advertisers have great hopes for the cellphone market due to the personal nature of phones and the potential to know where customers are at any time, but have been held back by the small screen size and potential hostility from customers.

The sector got a major boost from Google's deal to buy mobile ad firm AdMob late in 2009, and Apple's acquisition of Quattro Wireless.

"Across our markets we are getting this fall messages from advertisers that for 2011 they have created separate mobile budgets," Andrew Osis, chief executive of Calgary, Canada based Poynt, told Reuters. Poynt's local search application for smartphones has 4.5 million active users in North America and Europe.


The U.S. mobile advertising market is expected to grow to $5 billion by 2015 from $800 million this year, said mobile ad network Smaato in a whitepaper quoting research from mobilesquared.

Egyptian operator Mobinil said this week more than 200,000 of its clients have signed up for its mobile advertising service offering promotions, content and discounts, with advertisers so far including Adidas and Nokia.

The new service —  first of its kind in the world — gives users free access to social networking sites and data services in exchange for watching advertisements on their phones. So far it is marketed only on Facebook, where the service has 14,000 users after two weeks.