Who's to blame for shoddy mobile ads?

Daisy Doctor
By Daisy Doctor | 25 July 2017

Mobile is becoming an increasingly popular channel for consumers, with smartphone ownership rising 84% in 2016. However, some mobile experts argue mobile advertising hasn’t kept up with the transition from desktop to hand-held devices, as ads are so often merely adapted from their larger counterpart rather than recreated to suit the medium.

It's not a new claim, but who's at fault and when will mobile ads do the medium justice?

“Mobile creative is being thrown from agency to publisher back to agency like a hot potato. The result is a bad user experience and crap banner ads,” says Michael Correa, MD of mobile consultancy Earwerm.

At a recent Sydney mobile meet-up event led by Correa, Celtra director of business development Peter Bray addressed the lack of well-produced mobile ads in a presentation titled 'Mobile advertising and creative: An unrequited love?'.

Bray's presentation raised the question of which sector of media really is to blame for shoddy mobile ads, and what followed was a debate between a digital advertising company, a publisher and a media agency.

For Bray, whose company acts as a creative management platform for digital advertising, the issues lie in the lack of conversation between mobile agencies, publishers and creative.

“It's a disconnected ecosystem with fragmented ownership and a lack of consideration for ad experiences,” Bray says.

“With mobile creativity, our industry is far too fixated on mobile ad formats 'being the ad space', and is not giving the right attention that is deserved to the actual features of the advert - which is what goes inside the [ad] boxes.”

See: Good creative on mobile has fallen through the cracks

Speaking from the audience at the event, Bec Harris, a senior mobile account manager who works on Amboee's OMD account, held the position that media agencies need mobile specialist agencies to make mobile creative better.

Alternatively, SpotX country manager Chris Blok, who has spent time in publishing, frankly asked why it is not more common for each party to sit in a room together and discuss the creative.

“It should not be too hard for all vested parties to get together and agree what creative is bad,” he said.

On the creative side, Nik Kontoulas, who is CEO of a digital creative agency Eggmobi, said he recognised the finger is often pointed at creatives, however said he is keen to see the whole industry working together to find solutions.

While no firm answer was agreed upon, the debate shone a light on the much larger issue in the industry - that there needs to be more attention paid to creating ads that are relevant to mobile features.

Do you agree? And how, as an industry can we move this debate on? Comment below and share your views.

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