iAds stumbles towards European launch

Apple's mobile advertising platform iAds is scheduled to be launched this week, following a mixed reaction by advertisers in the US. The European launch is said to have been delayed several weeks due to a lack of interest from many of the major brands.

Insiders have commented that potential advertisers have been reluctant to commit to iAds due to Apple requiring a minimum spend of US$1 million. iAds cause was not helped by reports from US advertisers that Apple was being heavy-handed in its dealings with the major brands.

Several US-based advertising agencies have made negative remarks about their experiences with iAds, indicating that Apple was not experienced with selling advertising and was "expensive and a pain to deal with."

Adidas and Chanel are two major brands that are thought to have backed away from a US mobile advertising campaign following difficult negotiations with Apple.

However, some US advertisers have been happy with their results from using the Apple platform. Patti McGreal, manager of interactive marketing at Campbell Soup, said iAds with features that appeared to "steam up" the screen on users' handsets and offered quizzes and recipes had generated a 0.8 per cent click-through rate, three to 10 times higher than ordinary banner ads.

This viewpoint was supported by Christophe Cauvy, head of digital for EMEA at McCann-Erickson, claiming that the large number of iPod Touch and iPhone users was valuable. "The targeting aspect, using iTunes data in addition to demographics and location, is a great tool for advertisers. It's a rich experience for users."

In an effort to give its European launch a seemingly much needed boost, Apple is reported to be considering lowering the entry price for iAds campaigns to below the US$1 million threshold.

For more:
- see this Financial Times article
- see this Business Insider article

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