NEW YORK: Mobile advertising expenditure in Canada is currently lagging behind the increased penetration of tablets and smartphones but is forecast to grow significantly through to 2017.

A new report, Canada Mobile: Advertisers Trail Users' Uptake of Mobile, from eMarketer, the insights provider, said that in 2012 mobile adspend was up 115% to C$133.3m and for 2013 it predicted an 88.6% jump to C$251.5m.

A compound annual growth rate of 57.1% for the years 2012-17 will see total mobile adspend top C$1bn within four years.

The anticipated rate of growth is based on soaring use of mobile devices across the country.

Smartphone usage stood at 47% of internet users in January 2013, up from 34% a year earlier and more than double the penetration of two years before.

Tablet usage was also on a fast track, more than doubling from 10% of internet users in January 2012 to 21% in January 2013.

Even with increased adspend and penetration of mobile devices, eMarketer said that Canada's spending rate per mobile internet user in 2013 was just 40% that of the US and the UK, both of which spent US$49.

Japan and Norway each spent US$30 per mobile internet user and Denmark US$25, while Canada was on a par with Sweden on US$20.

The report also noted that funding had been an issue for marketers in Canada, as finance departments wanted proof of payback before committing cash to mobile campaigns.

Indeed, late last year research from Millward Brown showed Canadians to have the least favourable views of any nation about ads on mobile phones and tablets.

Just 11% of mobile phone users and 9% of tablet users in Canada had a good opinion of these ads, well below the average figures of 23% and 29% and far behind the 48% and 55% registered in Kenya.

Mobile strategists suggested that one way to address the funding challange would be to offer mobile as part of a wider digital strategy.

Data sourced from eMarketer; additional content by Warc staff