Mobile advert growth slow as phone use rises

ADVERTISING agencies are reluctant to invest in mobile adverts despite the increasing numbers of people using smartphones and tablets, figures released today show.

Data from media trade body the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) has found that despite 87 per cent of publishers receiving more than a fifth of their traffic via mobile, less than 29 per cent receive more than a fifth of ad revenue from mobile sources.

The AOP’s figures will worry publishers, who are failing to see reduced advertising revenues from lower print circulations offset by increased digital ad sales. Despite the increase in mobile phones as a way of browsing the internet and reading news, advertisers are concerned about how to reach people on a smaller screen.

More than half of publishers surveyed by the AOP said that “agency attitude” towards mobile ads were hitting revenues while a third were concerned about the size of the mobile audience.

Another concern for publishers was the wide fragmentation in mobile devices – different models and operating systems on phones – with 72 per cent saying fragmentation was affecting growth in digital publishing.

Mobile advertising is seen as the world’s fastest-growing marketing platform, with global agencies WPP and Omnicom making big-money acquisitions of digital firms this year, and French advertising giant Publicis’s €416m (£332) acquisition of Dutch digital marketing firm LBi.