The IAB ( has just undertaken and published what is probably the first thoroughly accurate research into the amount of money spent on mobile adverting in any one country. They have employed Price Waterhouse to start an annual review of the sector spend via contact with all the major mobile media sales house and some of the leading mobile buying agencies as a cross check. It follows the principles of the online study that that they have been running for the last 10 years, and is thorough and probably the most accurate study in the world.

As members of the IAB, we were invited to the grand unveiling of the findings a couple of days ago. And the official spend on mobile for the UK in 2008 was …. £28.6Million ($43.1M). This was roughly 50:50 mobile search and Mobile display.

The figure was happily slightly more than anyone on the coal face in the industry expected it be, especially on the search spend ( I’ve already gone on record with my thoughts on this ). However it gets even more interesting if you look a bit deeper. The figure is nearly 100% up year on year from 2007 (the IAB bench marked the findings) and each spend quarter in 2008 was greater than the previous one. Considering the bottom fell out of the economy in August/September of last year I find this remarkable.

So, what will the score be for 2009? Considering that all the big agencies are predicting a double digit fall in total ad spend for 2009, and the IAB reckon that internet spend will remain flat you wouldn’t expect mobile bucking the trend. However, all the signs so far suggest that it’ll be another year of growth for the sector. Roll on the 2010 Mobile spend presentation from the IAB.