LONDON: Even though FMCG is the largest spending sector for mobile advertising in the UK, new research has revealed that almost half (46%) of the UK's top FMCG brands do not have a mobile friendly site and 30% have no mobile presence at all.

The Mobile FMCG Audit from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) UK studied 50 of the country's top ad-spending FMCG brands last month and found only 22% had a responsive website while 36% optimised their search for mobile.

Brands were assessed according to whether they had a mobile-friendly site (defined as mobile optimised or responsive), a tablet-specific site, an app, and if they had optimised their site's search for mobile.

Released ahead of the IAB's Mobile Engage event in London, the IAB said a significant percentage of brands were "still lagging behind" on mobile.

"The consumer goods sector should be doing a lot more on mobile to ensure the media works for both them and their customers," warned Alex Kozloff, IAB's head of mobile.

Her colleague, Jon Mew, IAB's director of mobile and operations, went further, telling The Drum that the number of brands without a mobile site was "worryingly" low and "not good enough".

"What's the point in spending eight-figure sums of money in that area if people are not going to get a decent mobile experience on their own site?" he asked, adding that he thought the results were "shocking".

However, the IAB did identify a number of top-performing brands that each had developed a mobile-friendly site as well as mobile and tablet apps.

These included Cadbury's, the confectioners owned by Kraft; Carling, the beer brand owned by Molson Coors; Clinique, the cosmetics brand owned by Estée Lauder; and P&G's Gillette brand.

Major household names that the IAB found to have no mobile presence whatsoever included Danone, Flora, McCain, Head & Shoulders, Lindt and Fairy, among several others.

Introducing the IAB's Mobile Engage event, chief executive Guy Phillipson also highlighted the results of a quantitative survey which, he said, indicated that mobile spelt "the end of downtime".

For example, more than half of those polled agreed that in a quiet moment they no longer sat and thought, but instead reached for their smartphones to play games or go on social media.

Also, 37% typically checked their phones during a lull in conversation when they were out with friends, a figure that rose to 47% for parents. A full event report will be available to Warc subscribers shortly. 

Data sourced from IAB, The Drum; additional content by Warc staff