What mobile advertisers love is the ability to target smartphone users with ads. Unfortunately, what mobile users hate is advertisers’ ability to target them with ads.

It feels like an invasion to many mobile users, according to new data discussed in an interesting post at Forbes.

According to writer Ewan Spence, “The theory goes that with a better understanding of each user, relevant advertising can be sent to the smaller screen and improve the user experience by showing them adverts that mean something to them.”

“Unfortunately,” Spence notes, “that’s not how users see it.”

What’s the problem?

A recent study cited shows that more than three-quarters of respondents thought that targeted advertising on their mobile phone was an invasion of privacy.

In the study which queried users in four countries, 77 percent of all respondents agreed that mobile advertising too often feels invasive.

The bad feelings are biggest in the U.S. (79 percent), followed by the UK (78 percent), Brazil (73 percent), and China (76 percent).

“The unspoken agreement is that users will give up some personal data if they utility that they receive is of greater value,” Spence says. “That does mean targeting should be involved, but it also means that mobile advertising must make better use of data available to them. Reducing the repeat adverts is one area that needs more work, another is to stop advertising a product that has already been purchased by the user.”

Advertisers must work harder, it appears, to deliver more perceived value to each user in order to be perceived as friends rather than foes.

“Mobile advertising is evolving, and it is imperative that the advertisers tell not just the story of the product or service they are advertising, but the story of the advert itself,” says Spence. “Balancing the equation of trust between advertiser and user should be a key goal, because when the trust is there, the whole ecosystem that helped finance the explosion of social media on the desktop can transition to mobile and allow everyone to build more adventures, tell more stories, and reward everyone involved with great experiences.”