Apple’s iAd Continues to Draw Fire From Advertisers


Advertisers continue to feel critical toward Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iAd platform, and the company’s strict control over customer purchase data and demographic information is one of the main problems, AppleInsider and Advertising Age report.

Currently, Apple allows advertisers the option to target specific customers based on geography, age, purchase history, media interests, etc., but won’t allow the ad-buyers to see the original data, which fuels the recommendations.

Other companies, AppleInsider reports, are more open with their data; competitors like Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), and Yahoo (NASDAQ:YHOO), for instance, all provide more detailed data to advertisers working with their platforms. But despite that rival Google is more open than Apple, advertisers still want to advertise with Apple. Apple is “one of the best in terms of data quality and accuracy,” according to AdMobius co-founder Dan Grigorovici, who spoke with AppleInsider.

“One person familiar with the situation exec said Apple’s refusal to share data makes it the best looking girl at the party, forced to wear a bag over her head,” Kate Kaye, the reporter for AdAge added.

In general it seems that Apple doesn’t know exactly what it wants from its $250 million a year iAd business; in fact, the current system is so vague that the company hasn’t even given the staff sales targets. “It’s not their main focus to tell everyone how amazing advertising in iAd is,” GroupM executive Cary Tilds told AdAge, “It’s just not as loud,” she added.

Tilds comment echoes one of the other major complaints ad-buyers make regarding the iAd platform: a “reticent” or cold sales team; the business doesn’t appear to be eager to cultivate new relationships. Kaye points out that even in a digital age “advertising is still a relationship-driven business.”

It’s been rumored that Apple’s iAd platform may change to a real-time bidding system, and it’s unclear how a change in the platform’s system might affect its relationships with advertisers; it’s speculated that the shift may bring in small advertisers as the system becomes more automated, efficient, and cheaper than it is currently. But whether Apple will change an over their current rules about user data is still vague.

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