At the IAB annual: Going mobile a key theme

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La Quinta, Calif.—Advertisers and publishers must aggressively pursue new opportunities in the mobile space, Bob Carrigan, the new chairman of the Interactive Advertising Bureau, said Sunday in his opening remarks at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting here.

Carrigan, CEO of IDG Communications, noted how dramatically the online publishing world has changed since last year's annual meeting, thanks to Apple's introduction of the iPad. Eighty new tablet devices were introduced at last month's Consumer Electronics Show, and IDC (IDG's research arm) projects that 44 million tablets will be shipped this year, he said.

“Smartphone sales exceeded PC sales for the first time” in the fourth quarter, he added.

To help foster the growth of mobile advertising, the IAB has established the Mobile Marketing Center of Excellence, with a membership that includes AT&T Inc., Google Inc., Microsoft Corp., The New York Times and Time Inc.

In a keynote address following Carrigan's remarks, Google Chairman-CEO Eric Schmidt said that with the way information consumption is evolving, it's important to adopt a “mobile-first” strategy. “Build your applications first for mobility,” he said.

Schmidt also noted how advertisers such as Chrysler effectively tapped into mobile's strength in their recent Super Bowl efforts.

Mobile should get an especially big boost from display advertising, Schmidt said. He predicted online display advertising overall will grow to $200 billion in the next five to 10 years.

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