LONDON: Global mobile phone adspend is set to increase in value from £979m ($1.72bn; €1.25bn) this year to £6.9bn in 2013, but may be slowed by the impact of the global economic downturn until at least 2010, according a study by research firm Informa

Most of Europe's top networks – including Vodafone and France Telecom-owned Orange – have upped their investment in mobile advertising platforms, while Microsoft, Yahoo, AOL and Nokia have all increased their presence in the market.

Informa's report, however, argues: "Brands are not seeing enough potential return from mobile at the moment to warrant significant investment."

Despite the previous “gold rush” of investment by operators and service providers, the report warns that current levels of adspend "will not be sufficient to sustain every player".

Jean-Paul Edwards, executive director of futures at Manning Gottlieb OMD, also argues that during a downturn, advertisers were likely to "retreat into what is most proven".

Mobile advertising, he adds, "has had false dawns for several years. The current economic climate will push things back a bit. If money is tight, mobile is not proven yet."

Andrea Casalini, chief executive of Italian mobile technology company Buongiorno, also warns: "Fragmentation is the single most important element slowing down the market."

WARC subscribers can find out how Kraft, Arla and Unilever are using mobile – and more of the latest trends from the Mobile Marketing Forum 2008 – by clicking here.

Data sourced from Financial Times; additional content by WARC staff