Archive for September, 2010

Dear All,

I am now working as Managing Director for Ubiyoo Ltd, a YOC AG subsidiary.  After nearly three years of growing YOC Ltd in the UK market, I am now moving on to take responsibility of ubiyoo,  a global web-based self-serve advertising platform.  It has been great working for YOC Ltd, and since its birth when I joined in March 2008, it has become the UK’s leading open premium network.  Working with many of the UK’s leading media owners and print publishers reaching over 5 million people and generating over 250 million monthly page impressions, it is an impressive accomplishment to achieve in a short time in a very competitive market.  I would like to thank the team at YOC Ltd for all their hard work and commitment to achieving the success for all our clients and partners.  This was possible due to the great work ethos and a mindset that is rarely seen.  May it long continue.   We had the privilege to acquire the very successful Bluestar Mobile Ltd in the middle of 2009 and this great team is now fully integrated into YOC Ltd, offering services across our three main business lines of mobile advertising, mobile marketing and mobile internet.

As a company it does not get much better, with mobile the insight and vision YOC has is above most.  Their ‘Passion’ for mobile is at the heart of everything.

Christian Louca

For more information on Ubiyoo Ltd, please visit


I have the pleasure of knowing Ili and he is a good guy.  This is a great piece on the man!

Posted By ] Ronan Shields, 23 September 2010

curriculum vitae

  • Name
    Ilicco Elia
  • Title
    Global head of mobile, Reuters Media
  • Age
  • Twitter
  • Education
    1990-93: BEng, Civil Engineering, University of Manchester
  • Career
    1993-96: Manager, design studio, Reuters
    1996-98 Corporate brand manager, Reuters
    1998-2002: Head of online customer experience, Reuters
    2002-05: Next-generation products design manager, Reuters
    2005-10: Mobile and emerging media manager, Thomson Reuters

Having worked for Reuters since 1993, global head of mobile Ilicco Elia is a true advocate of the channel and is well placed to ensure mobile is at the forefront of company-wide activity.

After almost two decades at Reuters, five years spent specifically on mobile, Ilicco Elia is a bona fide veteran of the industry. “At Reuters we’ve been going mobile for a number of years,” he says. “When I started, I was part of the emerging media team and I stayed there until one of the bosses decided we had emerged.”

This year, Elia was one of only a handful of mobile specialists in MediaGuardian’s 100 most powerful people in media, ranking alongside luminaries such as Apple’s Steve Jobs and Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page. However, this is an accolade he’s modest about. “I don’t think of myself as having a profile,” he says, “but maybe that’s not for me to decide.”

Elia’s day-to-day job is leading his development team, but it’s his willingness to integrate with the rest of the Reuters organisation – departments such as editorial and sales – that has cemented his influential reputation.

Given the comparatively early dawn of mobile within Reuters – starting by loading content from a desktop computer onto a PDA – much of Elia’s time is now spent convincing the wider industry to adopt the medium. “As an industry we need to spread the word of mobile outside the usual audience that you see gathering at mobile conferences,” he says. “Mobile needs to be incorporated into wider media plans because it’s very difficult to make it work for advertisers on its own. We need to speak to TV media planners and show them how mobile can fit into their strategies and make ad campaigns more effective.”

These new ad opportunities on mobile are generated by the growing consumer demand for mobile news services, Elia says. Total traffic to Reuter’s mobile sites is 10% of that to its online sites. He cites the halo effect of Apple’s entry into the mobile market as fanning this demand, which has shaped the nature of his job ever since.

However, while the launch of mobile apps on hero devices such as the iPad or the latest Android phone generates the majority of headlines, Elia’s international remit also includes services such as SMS alerts, which he deems equally important. “These types of service are still popular in European markets such as Spain and Italy, or even further afield in places like India, but in the UK they’re not what you’d call thriving,” he says.

With the mobile industry still growing, a potential schism could emerge, forcing people to choose between advocating mobile apps or the less siloed mobile internet, but Elia is committed to neither on an exclusive basis. He views such debates as premature and thinks, if they do anything, it’s only to hamstring the mobile advertising market at a time when it can ill afford to be so.

“Neither apps nor browsers will win out,” he says. “As an industry, we need both as they each serve a different purpose and audience. When the app stores start to stock millions of apps, then brands will have to deal with discoverability issues in just the same way they have to on the web. Neither is perfect.”

The philosophy within Reuters is to be as accessible as possible on all platforms. Although Apple’s range of mobile devices generates a lot of buzz, Elia is acutely aware that media owners need to think way beyond this single platform. “If you’re going to do anything on mobile you have to be in it for the long haul, it’s not just about what’s fashionable now,” he says. “We made a conscious decision not to be seen favouring one platform over another so we work with all the handset manufacturers to make our content widely available.”

One partner that has proven important is BlackBerry manufacturer RIM, which has direct links to Thomson Reuters sites embedded in some of its devices. Elia has struck similar deals with Nokia and other manufacturers. “We also work with mobile operators to link to our site from their portals. Each partner brings something different. We try to work out what’s the best fit for their audience and ours with each partnership.”

One industry trend that excites Elia is the “mobile first” mantra coined by Google CEO Eric Schmidt at this year’s Mobile World Congress.

People are starting to look for information on their mobile first. Those who use the mobile internet see a massive benefit and we’re tasked with giving these people what they want,” Elia says.

He expresses similar approval for Apple’s recent social networking service Ping, which was simultaneously launched on mobile and online. “I like the fact you’re seeing the big names taking mobile into consideration in the first iteration of their products,” he says.

“If someone keeps track of their stock portfolio online then there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be able to do it on their mobile,” he adds, speaking about his own company. Reuters is currently tailoring its mobile products to its readers’ personal preferences and further integrating mobile into the core of its products. “Part of my job is to show editorial departments how they can use mobile in their day-to-day jobs. We’ve participated with Nokia as part of a ’mobile journalism’ tie-up which involved giving phones to our journalists, which they can use to better report on stories. That has now been integrated into our normal practice,” he says.

As for new mobile products, Elia believes the emerging tablet market has great potential and will occupy a lot of his time in the near future. “We’ve already launched some apps for the iPad [such as the Reuters Galleries],” he says, “and it’ll be interesting to see how the market takes off when Android tablets appear.”


Job opportunity: Two mobile advertising campaign managers required for immediate start.

I am currently recruiting for two Mobile Advertising Campaign Managers to work with Europe’s leading full service mobile solution provider.

The first position is based in our desirable London office. Oversee travels will be required for training purposes.

The second position is based in our Berlin headquarters, Germany.

Please contact me for further details.

Kind regards,

Christian Louca

Mobile ad agency YOC has bowed its YOC Ad Plus rich media ad format for mobile phones and has signed up its first client in the shape of Wilkinson Sword. When a user clicks on a YOC Ad Plus banner, it opens full screen and enables numerous interactive elements for the advertiser, ranging from picture galleries, video and 360° rotation, to the integration of couponing, wallpapers and social networking tools.
“YOC Ad Plus allows advertisers to hand pick well known media titles on which to run their campaigns, offering a solid advertising environment,” says Gary Danks, advertising director at YOC. “YOC Ad Plus’s ability to deploy multimedia will engage mobile users much more so than standard mobile advertising, and this should in turn generate strong campaign performance for advertisers, and a higher brand awareness, Wilkinson Sword is the first brand to sign-up to use YOC Ad Plus and the format will roll out on Apple iOS and Android.


mobile2MobileSQUARED projects around 19.4 million smartphones in the UK by the end of 2010. This means, the more creative the mobile ad campaigns, the increased likelihood that more people will be able to access and engage. This is just the beginning.


Posted by] Kunur Patel
Published: September 12, 2010

NEW YORK ( — What a difference an “i” makes. When Steve Jobs introduced Apple’s very own mobile ad unit, the iAd, on a stage in Cupertino, Calif., the mobile ad industry arguably got its highest-profile endorsement to date.

“It’s awesome — Steve just did a big commercial for mobile advertising,” Jason Spero, VP-general manager of Google’s AdMob, told Ad Age at the time of the announcement.

Nissan Leaf was a first mover on Apple’s iAd.

Nissan Leaf was a first mover on Apple's iAd.
Mr. Jobs brought a much-needed dose of sexy to a media previously ruled by tiny banner ads. Even though high-end creative — basically mobile ads that looked more like apps than banners — was available in mobile before the introduction of the iAd, the press-conference treatment and Mr. Jobs as pitchman got advertisers to pay attention. Months after the industry was introduced to iAd, demand for rich media in mobile is up, and mobile budgets are on the rise. Apple’s announcement caused a few clients who previously weren’t looking at mobile to pick up the phone, said David Bear, executive director of mobile and social media for BBDO Atmosphere Proximity. But “certain clients that were less receptive to mobile knee-jerk wanted to know what iAd was and wanted a point of view,” he said.

Clients, at least in BBDO’s case, weren’t immediately throwing money in mobile rich media. But it got mobile on the radar and started talks on budgets and strategies far beyond mobile ad buys.

Though it’s not all mobile media all the time. “When we discuss mobile with our clients, we have a much wider conversation,” said Jean-Philippe Maheu, worldwide CEO for Publicis Modem, which built Citi’s iAd. “Ninety percent of the discussion is about other things in mobile advertising, like commerce and apps.”

Bigger budgets
While mobile rich media pre-dated the iAd, Apple’s pricing strategy was one of a kind. With iAd, advertisers would have to pony up payment twice, paying cost-per-click on top of a cost-per-thousand fee. What’s more, Apple demanded budgets north of $1 million, an usually large sum for mobile ad buys. Those higher asking prices meant iAd couldn’t be funded out of existing and comparatively measly mobile budgets. IAd opened mobile up to the larger pool altogether.

“The budget commitments Apple asked for actually broadened the conversation beyond the usual mobile marketing purview,” said Mr. Bear. “That was Apple’s intention: to get some of that TV budget and to get some of those CMOs to look at mobile as a potential channel.”

Mr. Jobs announced Apple had secured $60 million from advertisers for iAd, a whopping 36% of eMarketer’s projected $166 million in mobile display spending for 2010. Those projections were determined before iAd hit the market, and Noah Elkin, eMarketer’s mobile analyst, says that money was likely new to mobile. “These are big ad spenders across any medium,” said Mr. Elkin of iAd launch advertisers like Nissan, Citi, Dove and AT&T. “I’m assuming that they didn’t balk at spending additional money in the wake of iAd. That suggests a good portion of money being spent on iAd is net new.”

Serendipitous timing?
But Apple might have stumbled onto some impeccable timing as well. Shortly before Apple bought Quattro Wireless, the mobile ad network that helped launch iAd, another Silicon Valley titan, Google, staked a claim on its own network, AdMob. According to the biggest independent mobile ad network, Millennial Media, the big jump in mobile ad spending started a year before Apple announced iAd, well before it even had an eye on Quattro.

“I think the hockey stick for mobile advertising started in second-quarter 2009,” said Marcus Startzel, senior-VP sales for Millennial Media. “That’s when we really started to see a rapid increase in advertiser investment.”

Apple, largely focusing on its rich-media unit, seems less concerned with participating in the growth of the industry beyond the iAd. Mr. Startzel reports huge demand for Android mobile-ad inventory, which accounts for six-figure portions of some advertisers’ budgets. Android continues to gain market share, while leader BlackBerry slips, along with Apple, according to ComScore. In August, Apple announced it’d be closing Quattro to focus on iAd, sacrificing any inventory it might have been selling on other platforms, such as Android or BlackBerry. That means Apple isn’t directly competing with other mobile-ad nets such as Google’s AdMob, Millennial and JumpTap for non-iPhone mobile-ad inventory.

It also underscores that iAd isn’t the only force bringing the spotlight to mobile marketing. Smartphone penetration continues to rise, location-based services have shaped up to be the digital marketing darling du jour, and Google’s figuring out ways to build AdMob into its massive ad infrastructure

Regulatory effect
While likely unintentional, Apple even had a hand in Google’s role in mobile advertising, too. It wasn’t until after Apple introduced iAd that the Federal Trade Commission finally OK’d Google’s $750 million acquisition of AdMob. Google announced the deal in late 2009, which prompted an investigation to weigh if the move could mean a monopoly in digital advertising. Then, after more than six months of scrutiny, the FTC greenlit the transaction in May, one month after Mr. Jobs took the stage to introduce iAd. “As a result of Apple’s entry [into the market], AdMob’s success to date on the iPhone platform is unlikely to be an accurate predictor of AdMob’s competitive significance going forward,” the agency said in a statement.

Better creative
While ad networks like AdMob offer rich media creative — Google has broadened its mobile creative palette to also include expandable maps and interactive video in the months since iAd launched — Apple’s laser focus on iAd brings it closer to rich media providers like Medialets.

But that’s not necessarily a bad thing for the competition. Medialets Chairman-CEO Eric Litman says he’s seen a significant uptick in business since iAd. Mr. Litman sees Apple’s influence as providing more attention for rich media in mobile. “I see a faster shift toward rich media as a dominant display format,” he said. “Twenty percent of total spend in online display goes to rich media, and it took ten-plus years to get there. In mobile, it’s approaching that level now.”

All the attention could definitely mean a higher creative standard for mobile advertising. Apple did it before with iPhone and its apps. Some ad agency execs report difficulty in convincing clients to test mobile before Apple’s phone, since advertisers just couldn’t imagine their brands in mobile before the iPhone and its slick user interface.

“By having Apple stake its claim in that realm of the display market, it’s planted a flag and said: ‘This is the bar and how we plan to raise it,'” said eMarketer’s Mr. Elkin. “If you want to compete, you’ll have to do the same.”


Posted 09 September 2010 11:35am by Graham Charlton

Having already launched a mobile commerce offering through an app on Nokia’s Ovi platform, retail giant Tesco has launched an iPhone version of its grocery app today.


The Ocado iPhone app has already proved to be popular, with 6% of all orders placed via iPhone in April, so you would think the potential for Tesco would be even greater, but how does the app (designed by Ribot) shape up?

Getting started

It helps if you are already registered with, as you will have to register on the app if not. The registration process has not been optimised for the app, so you have to head for the main website on your phone.

Once there, you have a lot of work to do to fill in more fields than seems strictly necessary. Users would be better advised to register on their laptops or PCs before using the app, to save the pain.


While many people downloading the app will be existing customers with logins, a more streamlined and mobile-friendly registration process would help Tesco attract more new customers through the app.


The main screen provides the option of selecting a delivery slot, checking existing orders, or adding to your shopping list. At the bottom of the app, users can access their favourites, shop for groceries, see the shopping basket, or enter the checkout process.

The Favourites section is a very impressive feature. I often shop at Tesco offline, but haven’t registered on the site before, but having entered my clubcard number, the favourites list is auto-filled for me with items I have recently purchased at the store.


This therefore saves a lot of time, and this will become more useful the more people use the app. It also displays special offers for the items in my favourites list.

Search and navigation

One of the challenges for grocery apps is to make browsing through huge product ranges as painless as possible for users. With more than 20,000 products on the app, this isn’t easy.

The key is to dice and slice the product range as much as possible by breaking down the categories into more manageable sub-categories, and providing filtering and sorting options to help users narrow their selection.


This works well for some sections of the site; the fruit and vegetables section is quite easy to use for instance, but other product searches are more difficult.

So if I’m looking for red wine, I have a list of 190 bottles displayed in no particular order, with no further options to sort or filter the list. The ability to search by country or by grape would be useful, or at least some options to sort by price. This was also a problem onOcado’s iPhone app.


Users who know exactly which product they want can at least use the site search option, though I think Tesco has missed a trick by not making the search instantly accessible, either by displaying it on each page in the ‘shop’ section, or having it as a link at the foot of the app.

At the moment, it can only be accessed via the start page in the ‘shop’ section. This means that, if you are on the wine page above, you have to backtrack three or four steps to use search.

Checkout process

Having selected my products and headed for the checkout, I was surprised to be asked to login again, when I only logged in less than 20 minutes before. This is unnecessary, and very fiddly when you have a long email address.


Once you’re over this obstacle, the checkout process is a smooth and well-designed one; as good a mobile checkout process as you will see.


The number of fields to fill in has been kept to a minimum, data entry fields are large enough and clearly labelled throughout, while error messaging is clear.


This is a very useful app from Tesco, and one that should prove popular. The app has some excellent features; a smooth checkout process for one, while the favourites section is very useful for making repeat use of the app as easy as possible.

Some more options for filtering and sorting would make product searches easier, while there are one or two niggles around registration. A barcode scanner would also be a useful edition for a future version of the app, to enable customers to create a shopping list as they go.

Sainsbury’s has only recently launched a store locator / Nectar card app and rivals like Asda and Morrisons have no mobile presence at all, so Tesco is well placed to profit as more customers turn to mobile for grocery shopping.