Google's AdSense For iPhone Trips Up Advertisers

 Ad Age Digital  DigitalNext  MediaWork NEW YORK ( — In the two weeks since Google announced it would open up AdSense for mobile, serving up text and display ads inside apps, there are signs the online-ad giant — and marketers — are still figuring out how to create good experiences for mobile users.

Google is helping marketers run ads on the mobile web and inside applications built for the iPhone and G1 Android phone, but some of those campaigns appear built for the desktop web and don’t necessarily translate to the small screen.

HP iPhone ad

For example, clicking on an ad with the headline “University of Kentucky” served inside the mobile phone wallpaper app “Backgrounds” doesn’t land the user on the home page of the Bluegrass State’s university. Instead, users are directed to a Hewlett Packard page with information about student discounts for HP computers. The page has all the characteristics of a desktop web page, laden with text and with a multi-tabbed navigation bar that no mobile user would want to wade through. A mobile page, in contrast, would look more streamlined and simple, due to space limitations. (It’s not clear why the ad is headlined by “University of Kentucky” rather than Hewlett Packard, whose name appears in smaller letters by way of a website address.)

In the same application, Google served an ad titled “Good and Funny Stuff” from But clicking through sends users to a page that begins with the sentence: “You need flash …. to view this site.” At the moment, neither the first-generation G1 nor the iPhone supports the animation Flash software.

Meanwhile, an ad served in the Pandora radio app showed a link for a local cleaning service. When clicked, it took users to a plain landing page where one of the links appeared dead.

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