Publicis' Head Of Mobile Disses AOL While Sitting Next To AOL's Director Of Mobile

alexandre mars phonevalley publicisAlexandre Mars, CEO of Phonevally and Publicis’ head of mobile

Photo: Wikimedia

Publicis’ head of mobile and CEO of Phonevalley Alexandre Mars addressed attendees at Business Insider’s Mobile Advertising Conference today about the changing landscape of mobile advertising.In the process, he, um, did not speak highly of AOL as a useful platform for mobile marketing—while sitting two seats away from Mandar Shinde, AOL’s director of mobile marketing. Shinde was participating in the same panel.

“Mobile is still a very complex and very fragmented business,” Mars said, explaining why advertisers tend to skip learning about the medium and instead will “always go with the easiest answer. Google for sure—less and less AOL.”

Following awkward murmurs, the French exec shrugged his shoulders, asking “Can I not say this?”

Shinde took it in stride, but would pepper the rest of his panel answers with AOL aphorisms: “Our movie app Moviefone—which, by the way, is very relevant;” “Huffington, the number one iPad app FYI;” you get the idea.

Mars had other noteworthy moments when discussing the changing mobile landscape, which he believes you’re best able to take advantage of “if you are new, because you will understand mobile in a different way.”

He discussed how “retailers three years ago were asking us how we could block signals when people were walking in the store” (to avoid helping them go home and buy the same product on Amazon) whereas today it would be idiotic to not try to take advantage of in-store mobile opportunities.

“Walmart is the best example here in the U.S.,” Mars said. “They invested $150 million in mobile … [customers] are now scanning products, doing shopping lists [on their phones], they are so good.”

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