Mobile marketers have been warned they must ditch intrusive SMS ads in favour of text-message coupons, quiet banner ads and ad-supported widgets if their straight-to-phone messages are to succeed.

A report published by technology research firm Forrester after Christmas found that 79% of mobile users surveyed are “annoyed” by the prospect of receiving advertising on their handset.

The report said mobile was now a “viable channel for US marketers” after a growth spurt that has seen more and more mainstream agencies seeking out the medium in the last two years.

But only 3% of people trust ads sent by SMS text message and more than two thirds claimed mobile ads had no impact on their perception of a brand.

“They’re thinking about mobile advertising in a traditional, interrupt-driven medium, very much like television,”
report author Charles Golvin told E-commerce Times.

Co-author Christine Spivey Overby added: “When you get into these intimate media like a mobile phone, you have to change the way you think about marketing. You have to change the rules. It’s a new mobile mindset – replacing the view of interruption with value.”

While SMS is widely adopted by users, it is not as immersive as games or interactive features, she said.