Apple has lost another advertiser for its “iAd” mobile advertising business — this time Adidas, the athletic apparel giant — according to scuttlebutt we have heard from two mobile industry execs.
Adidas supposedly pulled its $10+ million ad campaign from the iAd program because Apple CEO Steve Jobs was being too much of a control freak. According to one industry exec, Adidas decided to cancel its iAds after Apple rejected its creative concept for the third time.
In an effort to dial up ad quality, Apple has taken more control over iAds than any other program in the industry, including making the actual ads themselves. As the WSJ chronicled in August, this has caused some stress between Apple and ad agencies.
This has contributed to a very slow rollout of iAds — good luck finding many premium brand ads in iAd inventory.
In addition to Apple’s unusual control over the ad creation process, advertisers complain about the lack of control over and visibility into where their ads appear, lack of third-party ad serving tools, and other issues. Apple plans to open up the process once it’s more comfortable with the program, but it appears some advertisers have lost their patience.
As the WSJ reported in August, at least one advertiser before Adidas has pulled out of the iAd program — Chanel.
An Apple rep did not comment, but has not denied that Adidas has pulled out of the iAd program. (And, to be sure, perhaps Adidas had really lame ideas, and Apple was right to reject them.) Adidas declined to comment on “rumours or speculations” and refused to deny this story. But via email, a rep said, “we explore all mobile channels that will help us to tell our brand and product stories and naturally iAds is one of them. Mobile is an important part of our media strategy and the success of our micoach Application for iPhone and Blackberry shows that we are on a good way in.”
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