Advertising on mobile phones: Digital ads are popping up in irritating places

Everyone hates digital ads. Yet the ads pay for the free apps that people love to download. Small wonder that crafty firms are slipping them into unexpected places. And that is why, on July 12th, America’s Department of Commerce will hold a public meeting in Washington, DC, to discuss this and other aspects of mobile privacy.As smartphones and tablets capture ever more eyeballs, digital-ad firms such as AdMob, for which Google paid $750m in 2010, are hot. Not all have flourished: on July 2nd Microsoft took a $6.2 billion accounting charge, most of which reflected a writedown of the value of aQuantive, which it bought in 2007 for $6.3 billion. But the sector is now prominent enough to attract scrutiny.To continue reading this report in The Economist, go to:

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