The IAB has officially widened its remit to serve the mobile advertising industry, partnering with the ‘Big 5’ UK mobile network operators in the process. As of September 2008, the five UK networks – 3, O2, Orange, T-Mobile and Vodafone UK have formed a Mobile Steering Group (MSG) to oversee and advise on the trade body’s strategy to educate the advertisers and agencies about the benefits of mobile advertising. The IAB will now build upon the work they have already done in the mobile arena to formally extend their offering with a series of initiatives.
The trade body plans to hire a senior mobile manager in October and aims to grow the medium via dedicated events, educational publications and research essential to its development.
These activities will be supported by the IAB Mobile Council, which was launched in November last year. The Council is responsible for the implementation of many of these initiatives and currently boasts expert members from across the mobile advertising industry.
The IAB will be growing this membership over the coming months to include representatives from major publishers, agencies, advertisers and technology companies to ensure that all areas of the market are covered. The first event the IAB will be hosting in their new role as a mobile advertising trade body will be a Mobile Forum on 7 October.
Guy Phillipson, CEO of the IAB, said: “Mobile has huge potential now that the networks have all fully embraced the media opportunity. Demand for help and information about what mobile can do for brands has never been higher and the IAB is proud to have landed the brief.”
Whilst the IAB concentrates on research and promotion for mobile, the operators remain committed to the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) – the global organisation dedicated to best practices and the protection of consumer privacy. The IAB will also be liaising with the GSMA on their mobile audience measurement project.
In late 2007, the IAB conducted a survey amongst 40 senior-level marketers, who suggested that this year and next are critical to the success of the medium.
The study found that mobile advertising is viewed in much the same way as online was at the turn of the century: lacking standards, measurement systems and case studies demonstrating the efficacy of the medium.