What You (may have) Missed – Part 39

It’s February already, and as people around the world wonder just why they had that first drink of the year last night after the January detox, and the mobile industry prepares for its annual decampment to Barcelona, for Mobile World Congress, it’s time to take a brief look back at the mobile marketing highlights of 2009 so far.
Both the iPhone and Android platforms were in the news, as AdMob revealed that it was launching a tracking service for iPhone application downloads, and also launched its first advertising unit for Android applications, enabling developers to monetise their applications on the new device platform.
Mobile content discovery service Mippin also announced that it had optimised its browser-based service for the iPhone and Android devices in its first major upgrade to the service for 2009. And OfferPal Media launched its ‘Managed Offer Platform’ for the iPhone. The platform monetizes developer traffic by enabling iPhone users to earn points or other types of virtual currencies in exchange for taking part in advertising offers such as free trials, online surveys, and discounts.
There was plenty of launch activity. Idle screen mobile marketing provider Celltick announced the launch of livescreen.com, the world's first web-based ad server which allows local and global advertisers to purchase idle screen advertising in all markets where Celltick's LiveScreen Media platform is operational. The platform has been built in collaboration with BidVertiser, an international ad network that serves billions of ads per month, using a proprietary ad serving platform.
Mobile and online flirting service Flirtomatic revealed that it was launching a mobile beta in the US, in an attempt to replicate the success it has enjoyed in the UK and Germany. And the Financial Times revamped its mobile site at m.ft.com, optimising the site for iPhone and Blackberry users, who account for over 60% of FT.com mobile traffic.
On the campaign front, soft drinks company Britvic appointed content interaction and transaction company mirada to drive its mobile marketing and promotional activity, while children’s charity Save The Children tasked Incentivated with handling the mobile response element of a text-based appeal to put pressure on decision-makers to do everything in their power to end the violence in Gaza. The appeal generated 115,000 responses in three days.
Elsewhere, the Mobile Marketing Association appointed Mike Wehrs to the role of President and Chief executive, replacing the indefatigable Laura Marriott. Vodafone revealed that it had successfully trialled an evolution of mobile broadband technology, achieving peak data download rates of up to 16Mbps. The high speed data connection was achieved during field trials of HSPA+ 64QAM technology on Vodafone Spain’s network. And interactive communications company Oxygen8 Communications and mobile SMS ad firm Mobiya announced a strategic international partnership to deliver classified ads to consumers via their mobile phones.
And finally, premium-rate charged telecoms services regulator PhonepayPlus, issued a statement on mobile phone-paid services, outlining new measures to protect the public from a range of practices in the mobile premium content market which are causing complaints and undermining consumers' trust. In response, the Mobile Entertainment Forum (MEF) said it was “not convinced” that the new regulations achieve anything that wasn’t possible under the previous Code of Practice.
That’s all for now. Stay tuned for all the news throughout February, and if you haven’t done so yet, please take a couple of minutes to complete our survey. Everyone who completes the survey goes into a draw for an ultra-portable LCD projector from Hitachi.

David Murphy