Stat of the month: Sales message - $2.2bn The global value of mobile advertising (2007)

That's less than 1% of the value of all advertising, but the words 'new opportunity' must still be rattling round marketers' heads like a polyphonic ring-tone.

Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

There are about four billion handsets at work globally, and mobile advertising is slated to hit $12bn by 2011. Things have been slow, though. Measuring audience has proved tricky, as has ensuring that an ad campaign works across operators. And as mobiles are such a personal item, users may resent being targeted via their phone. But the big guns can see the potential. Vodafone, O2, T-Mobile, Orange and 3 are putting their heads together to solve the teething problems, and ad giants like Google are positioning themselves to take the spoils. Users are changing their habits too, increasingly using mobiles to access social networking sites and signing up to micro-blogging applications such as Twitter. All of which shows mobiles are the perfect tool for maintaining your online profile. Then there's the yoof. Blyk offers free calls and messages to 16- to 24-year-olds who view six SMS ads a day. Its tagline sums up the appeal: 'No cost, no contract, no nonsense'. And no privacy. No matter ...

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