Verizon OKs cell phone ads

Verizon is among the phone companies fighting for the right to compete directly with cable companies.

TEXT OF STORY

MARK AUSTIN THOMAS: You know those banner ads that you see all over the Internet? Look for them to show up more and more on cell phones next year. Verizon will soon allow those ads on their mobile phones. Janet Babin reports from the Marketplace Innovations Desk at North Carolina Public Radio.


JANET BABIN: Banner ads on cell phones are nothing new, but they are becoming more widespread.

The New York Times says Verizon will allow the ads beginning early next year.

But the mobile Web ads will have only limited reach. According to Jupiter Research, of the 230 million mobile accounts in the U.S., only 10 percent use their cell phones to access the Internet.

And Julie Ask with Jupiter Research says Verizon and other carriers have to be careful, because consumers aren't used to seeing ads on their phones:

JULIE ASK: Because it is a small screen, because they are paying for air time, consumers are going to be more sensitive to things like advertisements, if they appear to be taking up time or perhaps slowing down some other process that they're trying to achieve on the cell phone.

The report says Verizon will be sensitive to customers concerns and won't allow video ads or pop-ups on cell phone screens.

I'm Janet Babin for Marketplace.

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