Ad its ad forum in Redmond, Microsoft (MSFT) said it would start selling ads on more of its mobile sites, including mobile editions of Windows Live in the U.S., U.K., France, and Spain. This includes banner ads on sites like Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger, and adds onto Microsoft’s existing ad inventory on MSN Mobile.
No matter where they’re selling mobile ads, Microsoft should have one goal in mind: Not to piss people off. Mobile advertising is in its infancy, and if ads on mobile phones become too obnoxious, they could deter people from using Microsoft’s sites — or the mobile Web in general. (And no one — from Microsoft to the carriers to mobile ad networks — wants that to happen.)
These sentiments were echoed today by Virgin Mobile USA (VM) chief Dan Schulman, who announced his own mobile ad deal with AOL (TWX). Reuters:
“We’re experimenting with it. Mobile advertising is something you need to be quite careful with. A cell phone is a relatively intimate device.” And… revenue? “It’s small … and I wouldn’t even put it in the meaningful category yet.”