Saturday, April 14, 2007

Are the mobile advertising upstarts out of control?

The business of mobile advertising has gotten so much attention that some who has alot of stake in it are getting out of control.

I was reading an article on VentureBeat by Matt Marshall about a new mobile advertising upstart, Millenium Media, who had recently raised $6.3 million, has started another mobile marketplace for advertisers and publishers, called Decktrade. There is nothing wrong with a mobile marketplace strategy similar to those of Admob, Madhouse Inc and Third Screen Media except that the realtime mobile ad counter that you see on Decktrade isnt real.

You know it is fake because if you disconnect your computer from the Internet, the counter keeps ticking. A tipster pointed this out to us, after he’d done some analysis. The code is all hard-coded (download code as text); there’s only one phone for Turkey, the Nokia 6680, for example. What is odd, is how elaborate the scheme is. CPM values are set to be $8.5 + a randomly generated number, keeping ads a nice high rate — all the better to get publishers eager to join. This is sketchy — and if these sorts of randomized counter are being condoned by the insiders, well, we suggest people start calling companies on the practice, because its misleading.

This thing was bound to happen as more and more mobile marketing upstarts pitch their business case. Almost all the mobile marketplace players are publishing their total number of mobile ad impressions and clicks. Those numbers are impressive but its hard to verify as none of them are audited. Unless there are proper guidelines and standards to publishing such figures, its really nothing but a mere show off.

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