First UK mobile advertising study released

12 May 2009

Expenditure on mobile advertising in the UK exceeded expectations in 2008 to reach £28.6m sterling, up 99.2pc over 2007, according to a study released today by the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

Mobile display advertising – including banners, text links, tenancies pre/post roll and in-game – accounted for £14.2m sterling last year, or 49.8pc of overall spend. Paid-for advertising on mobile internet made up the remaining 50.2pc, or £14.4m sterling.

This is the first comprehensive mobile advertising expenditure study for the UK market.

The IAB and PwC said that these first mobile figures correlate strongly with the early days of online advertising.  They pointed that when they released their first joint study on online advertising in 1998, the market was worth £19.4m sterling. Last year, that market was worth £3.35bn sterling and accounted for 19.2pc of all advertising spend.

The IAB widened its remit to include mobile internet advertising in July 2008, when the five main UK networks – 3, O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone – became members. 

It will shortly launch a ‘How To’ guide on briefing, planning and executing mobile marketing campaigns, and is currently carrying out research into the effectiveness of mobile advertising, with the results due in early June. 

“This study is a UK first and means the IAB can accurately prove and track how much marketers are spending on mobile,” said Jon Mew, head of mobile at the IAB.

“The sector is in its infancy, but is considerably bigger than the market was expecting.  Thanks to these landmark figure we know the real value of the mobile advertising industry, and will now be able to chart the medium’s growth with confidence.”

“Mobile advertising has shown impressive, steady growth throughout 2008 in an overall declining advertising market,” said Eva Berg-Winters, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

“The mobile phone has become our constant companion and its ability to meet consumers’ growing demands for accessing entertainment and information on the move has attracted advertisers.

“The way has been paved by online advertising, which combined with the rapid uptake in mobile internet usage, will ensure it becomes a very powerful advertising medium over the next few years.”

The study attributes growth in the mobile market to a range of factors, including: a larger audience – mobile internet users in the UK increased from 8.6 million to 11 million between December 2007 and the end of 2008; user experience – advertising on mobile phones has generated a positive response from consumers; social networking; better, smarter handsets; growth in mobile departments in media agencies; and the industry working together to educate the marketplace.

By Grainne Rothery

Article courtesy of