From the MMA Conference

Video Report: Mobile Marketing Stymied by High CPMs, Small Audiences

Advertising Execs Offer Frank Assessments at MMA Forum

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NEW YORK ( -- Overly high cost-per-thousand expectations and audiences too small to matter are stymieing the development of the mobile phone advertising business, according to media buying executives at this week's Mobile Marketing association Forum.

High CPMs
"Most of the brands for whom we do investment advisory are not going to buy $60, $70 or $80 CPMs, even if that's what the market demand is right now," Eric Bader, senior VP at MediaVest USA, the country's fifth-largest media-buying agency, said about the cost of trying to reach a thousand people, a standard metric in ad sales.

"A lot of mobile activity is really competing largely against search and things like the yellow pages and yellow pages online," he told the gathering at the Times Square Marriott Marquis. "When you start to look at how effective search and the yellow pages and directory services are, that's who [mobile is] going to be competing against and those CPMs are down in the $8, $7, $4, $10 range."

'Hard to justify'
"And while we all understand the virtues of what mobile advertising can deliver," he said, "at [$60-$80] CPM levels, it's really, really hard to justify mobile against other opportunities to get the message to the same target."

Speaking on the same panel, Maria Mandel, director of digital innovation at Ogilvy Interactive, said, "We have some technology hurtles that we need to overcome because we are very much a dial-up right now."

"The reality," she said, "is you only have 15% of people surfing the mobile internet. That's still a very small base."

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