Sprint teams with Telefónica for multinational mobile ad network


Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) is partnering with European communications giant Telefónica to create a multinational mobile advertising network reaching more than 370 million subscribers across the U.S., U.K., German and Brazilian markets.

AdAge reports the Sprint/Telefónica venture will build user profiles based on apps and mobile websites they access. According to Sprint Director of New Ventures Dan Polk, customers will placed into categories like "urban jetsetter" or "sports fanatic" and served display ads targeted to their respective demographic. Telefónica Director of Global Advertising Sales Simon Birkenhead said the network also will leverage geo-fencing technology to deliver location-aware SMS and MMS promotions--for example, serving sports fans entering a stadium with ads for nearby restaurants.

Sprint and Telefónica stressed that data collection efforts across all markets will be limited solely to subscribers who opt in to receive personalized ads. "We can't risk jeopardizing the relationship with our customers and our core competency," Polk said.

AdAge notes the effort will leverage Sprint's Pinsight Media+ platform, launched with mobile advertising services provider Amobee in 2012. Pinsight Media+ connects marketers and third-party publishers with mobile advertising networks including Jumptap and RedMas: Sprint subscribers can select whether they wish to share anonymous information about their location and mobile device activities, with customers who consent to the program receiving targeted ads delivered across operator-owned properties like the Sprint Web on-deck portal and Sprint Zone account management app as well as third-party properties.

Telefónica recently launched a similar initiative within its Telefónica Digital startup incubator--the two carriers have agreed to share their ad inventories to build out the new platform, and will split revenues based on how much of their respective inventories are used in a particular campaign. Sprint and Telefónica declined to comment on specifics of the agreement.

Worldwide mobile advertising revenues are expected to reach $11.4 billion in 2013, up from $9.6 billion a year earlier, according to a forecast issued last month by research and advisory firm Gartner. The firm credits growth in North America and Western Europe to advertisers' continuing efforts to integrate the mobile channel into their campaign plans, cannibalizing budgets historically allocated to print and radio efforts.

For more:
- see this release
- read this AdAge article

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