Parents looking to grab a teenager's attention with a stiff punishment should confiscate their mobile phone.

A study by a top South Korean advertising firm shows that a mobile is one of a Korean teenager's most prized possessions.

Among 13- to 15-year-olds, 77.5 percent said a mobile phone was a "must-have" item, while for those aged 16 to 18 the figure was 76.7 percent, the Cheil Communications survey showed.

"Cell phones are the key to a teenager's social network," said Andy Joohyun Lee, senior researcher at Cheil Communications' Brand Marketing Institute.

Teenagers in Internet-savvy South Korea said they would feel helpless without a mobile, making it impossible to keep in touch with friends and send them text messages and pictures.

The ad agency surveyed 800 consumers in the Seoul area aged between 13 and 49. Three of every four South Koreans have a mobile phone.

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