MWC 2016 Live: Mobile ad industry still waiting for “revolution”

Mobile MWC16Martin Sorrell, chief executive of advertising group WPP, bemoaned some shortcomings in his industry that mean mobile advertising is still not taking off as much as it should.

“Probably the mobile revolution has not registered yet with companies, although it might have registered more ironically with the long tail then it has with larger companies. But it still has not penetrated companies to the degree it should have,” he said during the afternoon keynote today, Mobile is Commerce.

He referenced research by analyst Mary Meeker which showed an underinvestment by the advertising industry in mobile, alongside an overinvestment in analogue newspapers and magazines.

As to why, Sorrell looked inside the advertising industry for an explanation:

“Some of the things are to do with the industry we are part of. We haven’t’ adapted. When people talk about creative industries they are talking about Don Draper [of Mad Men], they are not talking about the new definitions.”

There are many “creative people” such as software engineers inside the industry too, he pointed out, as an example of changing roles. It’s a question of definition. “We haven’t contextualised correctly yet. A lot of what we see, and not in mobile but digital, is not contextualised effectively as it should be.”

He connected this shortcoming with a rise in talk of adblockers at MWC. “The launch of another adblocker and people are obviously thinking hard about it,” he said.

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