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October 3, 2006 at 1:50 PM

People are responding to wireless ads

A study released today said people are responding to broadcast and print advertising that asks viewers or readers to send text messages to a number code — considered a form of mobile advertising..

At this year’s CTIA Wireless IT & Entertainment show in Los Angeles, I wrote about how wireless carriers, application developers and media owners were all talking about taking their first steps into mobile advertising, which some estimate will generate more than $11 billion in revenue in five years. Some were thrilled by the early response rates to many forms of mobile ads. They said, for instance, more people were clicking ads on mobile phones than they do on the Internet. This report will likely fuel their interest even further.

Seattle-based M:Metrics said the highest number of people responding to ads with so -called “short codes” occurred in Spain at 29.1 percent, followed by the U.K. at 18.5 percent. France came in at 10.1 percent; the U.S. was 7 percent and Germany came in last with 3.4 percent.

“These numbers are not unlike what we saw in e-mail response during the mid-1990s as the Web emerged an advertising medium,” said Will Hodgman, M:Metric’s CEO. “The growing adoption of major brands using SMS and the substantial consumer response rates indicate a couple of important trends: Mobile as a commercial medium is on steroids; and multimedia convergence is real.”

M:Metrics found the highest response rates came from ads appearing on television. In the U.S., 4.5 percent of the responses were in regards to a television ad; in Spain, it was as high as 21.7 percent.

In addition, contests were the leading driver of short-code usage, such as games or reality TV shows, or chances to win free merchandise. Spain was the highest at 17.8 percent, followed by the U.K. at 10.6 percent. Of the responses in the U.S., 2.5 percent were tied to a contest.

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