UK operators cooperate over mobile advertising metrics

The mobile advertising market has received a major boost with the UK's five major mobile phone operators agreeing to appoint the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) as the trade body responsible for measuring their advertising performance and success. The networks have also agreed to provide funding to the IAB as it expands its remit to include the mobile market.

The work will be undertaken by the Mobile Steering Group (MSG), a joint IAB and operator task force, to educate the advertisers and agencies about the benefits of mobile advertising, something that Vodafone, T-Mobile, Orange, O2 and 3 will be keen to look into. An IAB study published late last year concluded that the mobile advertising market was viewed in much the same way as online was at the turn of the century - lacking standards, measurement systems and case studies demonstrating its benefits.

To complicate this picture, the IAB will also work to standardise mobile advertising with the Mobile Marketing Association, and will partner with PwC to set up a scheme to evaluate how much the mobile advertising industry could be worth. Some analysts have attempted recently to downplay the hype surrounding mobile advertising by estimating that only £30 million a year is spent in the UK on this form of advertising.

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