While Google continues to emphasise the growing importance of mobile advertising, France Telecom Orange has dropped the company's DoubleClick ad platform in favour of rival OpenX.
While Orange gave no detailed explanation for its reason to move away from Google's DoubleClick, the operator said that OpenX, which has been in business for four years, has the scale and maturity to compete with larger mobile ad companies. Orange also said OpenX is a more appropriate fit for its cross-media advertising strategy spanning mobile and TV. Orange has been working with OpenX on a separate online ad buying and selling platform in Europe.
Speaking on a confidential basis to Reuters, a France Telecom Orange manager said, "We are switching all our countries from DoubleClick to OpenX."
OpenX CEO Tim Cadogan, a former executive at Yahoo, said OpenX could now help publishers by bringing together data from separate sources of direct sales, spot markets and exchanges and sales to ad networks.
"Publishers today are basically trying to balance and optimise across multiple revenue streams," he told Reuters. "We bring it into one coherent package."
Regardless of this loss of the Orange account, Google said that it would be ramping up its mobile ad efforts to convince its existing online advertising customers to expand their marketing campaigns to mobile devices. "I don't see any reason why mobile advertising won't be relevant to every single advertiser," said Karim Temsamani, Google's head of mobile advertising, to Mobiledia.
Industry watchers believe that mobile ads will become a key driver behind Google's future growth. Although that the majority of Google's $29 billion revenues in 2010 were generated by PC-based search ads, the mobile business was said to be generating revenue at an annualised run rate of more than $1 billion.
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