Yahoo, T-Mobile say sign mobile Internet ad deal

LONDON (Reuters) - Yahoo Inc has agreed a deal to provide targeted display advertising on T-Mobile’s Internet service Web ‘n’ walk in Britain, the two groups said on Thursday.

Mobile Internet advertising has grown rapidly in recent years and Yahoo has been aggressively targeting deals to sell and manage ads after suffering setbacks in its core Web search and advertising business against competitors such as Google.

Yahoo has a similar advertising deal with Vodafone and the tie-up with T-Mobile gives it access to two of the top four mobile phone network operators in Britain.

Yahoo has said it will offer Internet services that work on existing phones rather than seeking to compete with mobile software of its own, and it believes it can reach hundreds of millions of phone users.

Under the T-Mobile deal, the two groups will work together to enable advertisers to send targeted adverts to consumers who can then interact and respond directly.

“Banner advertising through the Internet on your mobile creates many opportunities for potential advertisers to adopt innovative marketing campaigns,” Phil Chapman, director of marketing at T-Mobile said in a statement.

“We regard Yahoo as a leader in display advertising, and with its deep understanding of the mobile space and the potential that mobile advertising can offer clients, we’re glad they are on board as our partners.”

Geraldine Wilson, Vice President of Connected Life, Yahoo Europe, told Reuters that advertisers were quickly coming to recognise the value of mobile advertising.

“Key to bringing brands to mobile is being able to offer them the audience,” Wilson said.

“We already have an agreement with Vodafone and ... what that means is we’re building now the kind of interesting scale of audience for advertisers to start considering this medium seriously.”

Thomas Husson, senior analyst at Jupiter Research, said in a recent report that mobile channels allowed advertisers to interact with consumers at different and peak times when they are relatively more difficult to reach through other media.

Wilson said the medium was interesting to advertisers because of the sheer scale of the potential audience and because it is also very personal. Consumers can also be targeted based on their location.

Reporting by Kate Holton; Editing by Erica Billingham