Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Mobile Ads to the Rescue? Not for a While

One of the few glimmers of hope in Mary Meeker’s bummer of a presentation on the Internet ad market–mobile. And the thesis is the same as the one we always hear about mobile: There are lots of eyeballs looking at phones, and there are more of them every day. It’s a huge, fast-growing and basically untapped ad market.

But while there are plenty of people–from Google (GOOG) on down–waiting for marketers to start shoveling money into phone advertising, it has yet to happen. And it’s certainly not going to happen in the next few years, as advertisers stick to markets they understand already. MediaPost:

Quentin George, president, global digital strategy and marketing innovation at Universal-McCann, agreed that marketers are likely to be less adventurous in exploring newer platforms in the midst of a severe downturn. Even if funding for more experimental campaigns doesn’t completely dry up, projects will take longer to complete. ‘A cool idea that might have taken two months to complete might now take six or nine months,’ he said.

The grim outlook for ad spending into next year is bad news for much-hyped categories such as mobile and digital out-of-home advertising. ‘With the economy the way it is, (mobile) is one of the least areas clients are going to be looking at because it’s more of a test-and-learn situation,’ Speciale said.

Bob Thacker, senior vice president of advertising and marketing for OfficeMax, compared mobile to soccer: ‘It’s popular in the rest of the world, but we haven’t learned how to play it yet.’ From a media-buying perspective, Matt Spiegel, CEO of Digital Omnicom Media Group Digital, added that mobile is ‘just complex to buy at scale.’ Couple that complexity with more austere budgets and mobile becomes even less desirable as an ad option.”

[Image Credit: aussiegall]


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald