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Mobile phone ads to check up on your habits

Mobile phones will soon be filled with advertising that knows where you've been.

This time next year, UK mobile phone users could be following in the footsteps of residents of Japan by ending up on the receiving end of personalised advertising delivered direct to their handsets.

The so-called behaviourally targeted advertising technique is being introduced in Japan by US firm Revenue Science. The marketing specialist is working to deliver more efficient adverts to phones on KDDI's au network; Japan's second largest in terms of subscriber numbers.

Browsing history analysed

What's new about the method, compared to sites that serve up advertising based on the content of the web page currently being viewed, is that it considers all the sites users have recently visited to work out what they might be interested in buying.

As for why an American firm is kicking off the new business in Japan, Bill Gossman, CEO of Revenue Science, explained: "This ... reflects the way the Japanese market has embraced behavioural targeting and we look forward to bringing this unique service to our clients in the UK, Europe and the United States."

Whether that's a good thing for you or not clearly depends on individual preference, but there's no doubt at all that big business is about to throw its substantial weight behind ever more targeted advertising in the mobile arena. With behaviourally targeted ad spending in the US alone projected to hit $1 billion (£494 million) next year, mobile ads aren't going away anytime soon.