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2/6/2008
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CBS Mobile Offers Location-Based Mobile Ads

The technology, in partnership with Loopt, taps into GPS and other location technology to target consumers.

CBS Mobile on Wednesday signed an agreement with mapping and communications provider Loopt to offer location-based mobile ads on its sports and news Web sites.

The companies claim it's the first partnership of its kind in the United States, where advertisers will be able to use GPS and other location technology to target consumers. That means consumers will be receiving ads based on their physical location, inviting them to visit a business located nearby.

Here's one example of how it works: When a person is in the proximity of a restaurant, they may be targeted with ads promoting free appetizers, according to Loopt.

"Through our partnership with Loopt, our advertisers will be able to deliver targeted messages to potential customers who, based on their location, might be very likely to click or make a purchase. This makes the ads highly relevant to consumers and advertisers at the same time," said Cyriac Roeding, executive VP of CBS Mobile, in a statement.

The ads will be displayed on CBS's mobile sports and news Web sites, which typically generate a lot of traffic and millions of page views, CBS said. The company already provides mobile ads on its other Web sites designed for WAP mobile phone browsers.

Consumers don't like the idea of being bombarded with ads on their phones, which is why Loopt and CBS won't be sending their location-based ads in the form of text messages. The ads will instead appear on mobile Web sites. The companies said the process will be non-intrusive, although consumers might not agree.

Location data used to pinpoint consumers will also be protected.

Seventy-eight million U.S. consumers received advertising on their mobile phones in the fourth quarter of last year, according mobile entertainment provider Limbo. While some are skeptical about the future potential of mobile advertising, research firm eMarketer predicted that sales generated from mobile ads are expected to reach nearly $5 billion by 2011 in the U.S. alone. Global mobile advertising sales will reach $11.3 billion by 2011.

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