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Brits obey mobile ads, says mobile ad biz

Half the population admit their phone rules their wallet

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Nearly half of punters polled in a survey reckon mobile ads are influencing their purchasing decisions, and 63 per cent have bought stuff on their phones - says the company supplying the ads.

That's according to InMobi, which describes itself as "the largest independent mobile advertising network". It asked a thousand Brits if they liked mobile adverts and concluded that "archaic perceptions of mobile advertising being intrusive are long gone". The survey found that 48 per cent of the sample admitted that tiny banners help them decide what to buy, and the vast majority are already shopping on their phones.

Apparently a fifth of those polled will happily spend £20 on their phone, while over a quarter will risk £50 on the mobile network, which is strange given that modern smartphones are considerably more secure than the desktop computers over which people will happily spend thousands of pounds.

The majority of mobile purchasing is still digital goods - such as Kindle ebooks and music files - not to mention all those copies of Angry Birds et al. Yet 34 per cent insist they're buying physical goods in their phones, while around a quarter are paying bills and a similar number buying services.

Those figures are the most useful, as InMobi admits its sample "was focused on those who use mobile media including native apps and mobile websites", so it would have been more surprising if they'd found no one shopping on the move. It also means that InMobi's conclusion, that mobile adverts were very nearly as effective as TV advertising, can't really be applied outside that demographic.

Which is a shame as there's a lot resting on the expected success of mobile ads, not least the profitability of Facebook. InMobi's figures seem to bear out the most-optimistic predictions, and if they do apply to the rest of the population then that's fine, but if not then mobile-phone advertising isn't going to fund all that mobile content and we might just have to start paying for content as well as stuff. ®

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