By Ben Simmons

Facebook finally announced its mobile advertising plans last night at the Facebook Marketing Conference in New York, prompting concerns that excessive marketing on mobile devices may trigger a consumer backlash.

This is following much speculation since its IPO filing about how it will monetize the 425+ million users that access the social network from their mobiles. The new advertising platform will mean that users will now see sponsored stories in their news feeds when browsing Facebook on their mobile phones. However British and American consumers are warning of a potential backlash as 67% do not want to be advertised to on their mobile phone.

The findings are revealed in the 2012 Digital Advertising Attitudes Report from digital marketing technology company Upstream, which commissioned YouGov to poll the online views of 2,054 UK adults aged 18+ in the UK and 2,105 in the USA on a range of digital advertising issues.

In light of Facebook’s announcement today, the report warns that:
• One in four (27%) British and one in five (20%) American consumers would stop using a brand's product or services — such as the social networking site - immediately if they feel they are subjected to too much advertising

• A further one in ten (10%) would complain about that brand to friends on social media and the majority of consumers (66%) would unsubscribe from the brand in question

Issues of the volume of advertising and privacy are magnified on mobile phones. The 2012 Digital Advertising Attitudes Report reveals that:

• The vast majority of Brits (64%) and Americans (67%) find it most unacceptable to receive unwanted advertising on their mobile

• Furthermore 77% of Brits and 73% of Americans find banner advertisements on their mobiles irritating

Marco Veremis, President of Upstream comments, “Mobile has long been the next target in Facebook’s sights and speculation has mounted since it identified the lack of any monetization strategy for its 425 million mobile users in its IPO filing.

"Facebook must be careful as it rolls out mobile advertising that it makes full use of the technology available to deliver messages which are compelling and intuitive for the consumer to receive on the unique mobile phone format. By the very nature of mobile as consumers’ most personal and intimate device, it risks sparking a major backlash on privacy and user data grounds.”

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