A total of £28.6 million was spent on mobile internet marketing in the UK in 2008 – an increase of 99.2 per cent on the previous year, new research shows.

According to figures from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) and PricewaterhouseCoopers, mobile ad spending grew at a faster rate than predicted.

The authors of the study said the targeting ability of mobile advertising, as well as its immediacy and strong returns on investment, has prompted more companies to invest in it.

Paid-for search marketing represented the largest proportion of mobile advertising last year at 50.2 per cent.

This was followed by mobile display advertising – including banners and text links – which accounted for 49.8 per cent of spending on the medium.

Guy Phillipson, chief executive of the IAB, said that over the last year, there has been something of a buzz surrounding mobile internet marketing.

"Now is the perfect time for brands to dip their toes in the water, to see for themselves how effective and complementary mobile advertising can be," he remarked.

Data released recently by Opera Mini revealed that the number of people accessing the mobile web through its browser rose by 157 per cent between March 2008 and March 2009.

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