Facebook may eventually help to reinvigorate the mobile ad game, but for now at least, ad sellers are still favoring display ads by a wide margin, according to a study by ad vendor PaperG.

As with the dot com boom of yore, the focus continues to be on display ads during the current land rush to mobile devices. Eighty six percent of ad sales executives plan to sell mobile display ads in the last few months of 2012 compared to just 34% pushing Facebook ads.

Facebook versus Online Display Ads

Facebook mobile ads tend to have higher clickthrough rates than Facebook desktop ads, according to Facebook Ads API partner SocialCode. Furthermore, mobile ads overall are the fastest growing segment of advertising, according to eMarketer. That helps give mobile the edge over desktop ads because of the other capabilities that come with mobile devices like location.


PaperG surveyed 516 ad sales executives at broadcast stations and publishers about digital campaigns.

Google and Facebook Still in Control

Both Google and Facebook are eyeing mobile ads for a more complete rollout. Google said as much during the latest Google earnings call, and the fact it is not further along than it is really says something about mobile ads overall. 

According to the PaperG survey, only 23% of respondents are selling the Google/DoubleClick ad inventory compared to nearly 78% who use Yahoo/RightMedia. Of course, some sell both, but if Google begins focusing more on its mobile strategy, it should make a big difference. 

For Facebook, privacy concerns are very much at the center of its mobile ad prospects. That's especially true if it plans to use customer browsing data to serve up more relevant ads, something many mobile advertisers have so far shied away from. Tell us in the comments if you think there is no problem with targeted mobile ads or if you think display ads are a complete dead end on mobile.