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Apple’s iAd Not Off to a Happy Start After All?

After stellar remarks and compliments from Nissan and Unilever, you’d think iAd was a complete success in winning over the hearts of Apple’s partners right? All Things Digital is reporting that Apple’s restrictive iAds policies are having a dramatic effect on progress in the mobile ad space. Disney, J.C. Penny, and Citigroup Inc. just recently got their ads into the mobile space after the month of July was dominated by Nissan and Unilever PLC, while companies like Channel SA ended up dropping their iAds compaign announced at Apple’s launch event.

The frustrating delays in launch are attributed to Apple’s position in the iAds process. Advertisements are taking 8 to 10 weeks from start to finish, as Apple builds the actual ads for launch. Patrick Morehead, director of mobile platforms at DraftPCB noted, “It’s a huge issue having Apple in the creative mix.”

Apple’s proposition of great advertising especially leaves a sour taste in marketers mouths as ads are distributed on the iAd network without any indication as to where they’re showing up. While marketers have a say in where ads shouldn’t appear, Apple has free reign over the display of advertisements as they see fit.

With Apple handling the production of the ad unit, agencies don’t necessarily know what it is capable of or how to use the technology, one ad executive said. The iAd is designed in HTML5 technology, and Apple has yet to distribute a “developer kit” to agencies so they can understand how it works.

Despite the current issues, the future looks bright for marketers willing to tough it out in Apple’s ecosystem. With 10,000 developers on board and an incredible $60 million in commitments for 2010, iAds’ slow start will soon take a gigantic leap. This year, ads sold on cellphones are expected to increase from $459 million to $593 million, a 43% jump that has agencies scrambling to distribute mobile advertisements where appropriate. If iAds can prove to be as successful for everyone as Nissan and Unilever reported, it should turn out to be a happy year for marketers after all.

[via All Things Digital]

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