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Release: Leading Operators Work Together To Measure Mobile Advertising

GSMA & UK operators to explore delivery of cross-operator metrics for mobile advertising

11th February 2008, Barcelona, Spain: The GSM Association (GSMA) today announced that five of its leading members, Vodafone Group, Telefonica O2 Europe, T-Mobile International, FT-Orange Group and 3, have formed a working group to define common metrics and measurement processes for mobile advertising as part of the GSMA’s Mobile Advertising Programme.

The working group is conducting a feasibility study, focusing initially on the UK, a leading mobile and advertising market, working with each company’s UK operating business to explore the aggregation of appropriate information on a consistent and audited basis to deliver cross-operator metrics to the media and advertising communities.

“The commitment of all five UK operators to this initiative is critical for the development and future success of mobile as an advertising channel,” said Rob Conway, CEO of the GSMA. “The working group and the GSMA will facilitate crucial engagement between mobile operators, advertisers and agencies, to help ensure that mobile advertising realises its full potential for the benefit of all players in the ecosystem.”

The operator community and the GSMA are fully committed to developing mobile as a successful marketing channel for brands, publishers and advertisers to engage their consumers. Operators are investing significant resources to address the needs and priorities of the media community, such as the development of mobile advertising standards, a common currency for mobile, the delivery of standardised metrics, and the measurement and validation of the reach and opportunity that the mobile channel presents.

A key priority is the definition of a range of metrics that will describe the mobile audience and measure the effectiveness of mobile advertising. The GSMA and its working group will engage with a broad range of advertising industry associations and stakeholders to secure agreement and support for metrics that will form a common mobile media currency. Based on this currency, and subject to the completion of the feasibility study, all five UK operators will work with the GSMA to develop a proof of concept for a cross-operator mobile media planning capability during 2008.

The GSMA and the working group will leverage learning and experience from the feasibility study for similar initiatives in other mobile markets across the world, and is at an advanced stage of discussions with a number of industry stakeholders to support this effort.

“Mobile offers advertisers a new opportunity and we are responding to repeated demands from media planners around the world for more transparency of the mobile channel,” said Richard Saggers, Head of Mobile Advertising at Vodafone. “Vodafone is participating in the UK project with a view to developing a common framework for mobile advertising measurement and metrics that can be replicated in other markets as well.”

“In today’s rapidly evolving mobile environment it is critical that we offer the consumer the widest possible range of opportunities to support data consumption. Mobile advertising is a key component for driving mobile usage, but in order to be effective it needs to be widely supported by the advertising industry. This initiative will seek to drive this exciting and potentially massive market opportunity by matching the aspirations of both the advertisers and the operators,” said Tanya Field, Group Head of Mobile Internet at Telefónica O2.

“The power of the mobile as a marketing tool can only be realised if advertisers can clearly see and understand the benefits compared to traditional media,” said Phil Chapman, Director of Marketing, T-Mobile UK.

“We are excited by this industry-wide initiative to support advertisers and agencies in buying mobile advertising. Our research and launches have proved that not only do customers accept advertising on the mobile phone, but actually enjoy viewing it. It is essential that the industry works together to ensure mobile adverts work for both customers and advertisers,” said Steve Ricketts, Head of Third Party Services, Orange UK.

“The more we can do as an industry to increase the credibility of mobile advertising the better. This initiative represents a great opportunity to reach out to the media buying world in order to secure more mobile budget from big brand spenders, “said Neil Andrews, Head of Portal Advertising at 3.

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About the GSMA:
The GSM Association (GSMA) is the global trade association representing more than 700 GSM mobile phone operators across 218 countries and territories of the world. In addition, more than 200 manufacturers and suppliers support the Association’s initiatives as key partners.

The primary goals of the GSMA are to ensure mobile phones and wireless services work globally and are easily accessible, enhancing their value to individual customers and national economies, while creating new business opportunities for operators and their suppliers. The Association’s members serve more than 2.5 billion customers – 85% of the world’s mobile phone users.

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