Mobile Today reports:

O2 today entered the UK mobile advertising market with a new service allowing brands to target the operator’s mobile customer base. The new service on O2 Active will enable brands to deliver both display advertising and advertising-funded content models to specific audiences.

For the first time in the mobile industry, advertisers can be provided with the tools to measure how effective their campaigns are and which audiences react well to their adverts.

Advertiser's microsites will be zero rated so that customers who click through will not incur any data charges while they are browsing on these sites.

While Nokia have announced, almost breathlessly, their "premier mobile advertising network":
Nokia enables advertisers to place ads on high quality and brand-safe publisher and operator mobile Web pages, as well as Nokia properties, representing an unprecedented global consumer reach - more than 100 million mobile consumers around the globe.

Not wishing to, erm, "pour" on their parade but we've been here before, with the desktop battles for eyeballs. And similarly it'll doubtless prove difficult enough getting zillions of consumers to visit the ad-laden portals, let alone persuading them of a reason to click on the adverts.

Without a compelling motivation, it could all become mobile marketing's wet-dream. Not that you'd notice from this blinkered puff:
Sally Cowdry, O2 marketing director said: ‘Mobile advertising is the advertiser's holy grail, combining a high resolution screen in every pocket with a customer database which has the power to deliver messages to exactly the people you want.

‘This new service will provide a boost to the market while at the same time ensuring advertising is relevant and non intrusive for our customers.’

Non intrusive advertising?
I reckon they'll need to make it squeeze your balls so hard that you'll simply have to click on the bloody ad!

Shame that neither company find time to mention the enormous (and potentially useful) opportunities of advertising within applications ("can't find that address? Click here to order a CityWide cab now") or LBS ("after all those calls, you deserve a Starbucks - there's one around the next corner").

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