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Since about 10 years ago I have been excited about mobile technology’s capability to offer location-based services. Google has made it possible in many of its established markets. In Russia its largest context ad platform Begun is moving in that direction as well.
Begun will serve ads near the physical offices of the advertisers thereby merging the line between the physical ads and the virtual ones. The company is not there yet to offer geo-targeted ads on mobile phones. At first it will identify locations of the users of PCs and laptops using WiFi connection.
It appears that Begun is slowly moving in the area of Russian POIdo, aiming at brick-and-mortar businesses to become contextual ad customers. POIdo, which was covered here, display ads of big brands on mobile devices.
Google is already miles ahead with its mobile geo-targeted ads, where a business location of the advertiser is shown on the map and an integrated click-to-call button is provided. It would be neat to see Zingaya’s buttons in the Russian mobile ads, although the company is not there yet, according to Zingaya‘s Alexey Aylarov.
According to Google’s Jason Spero (source: TechCrunch), the demand for geo-targeted ads is huge in the US. As for the privacy concerns, Google would only use person’s location if permitted to do so.
In the US geo-targeted ads are actively used in politics, where the attendants of the political events are served political ads on their mobile phones. In the upcoming Russian elections such extravagance it seems, will not be necessary.
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