Apple iAd to make UK debut in December

iAd, the new mobile advertising platform from Apple, will roll out across Europe as of next month.

The service, which offers ads inside apps on devices such as the iPhone or iOS 4 iPod touch, will launch in the UK and France in December and Germany in January, with the first retail partners confirmed to use iAd including L’Oréal, Renault, Louis Vuitton, Nespresso, Perrier, Unilever, Citi, Evian, LG Display, AB InBev, Turkish Airlines and Absolute Radio.

The platform has been branded as a next-generation service which will open up the advertising potential of mobile devices, combining "the emotion of TV advertising with the interactivity of internet advertising".

Launched in the US in July 2010, iAd has signed on more than half of the top 25 US advertisers in just four months, projecting a 21% share of US mobile display advertising revenue for 2010.

At the US launch Steve Jobs said the average iPhone user spends around 30 minutes a day using applications, adding: "if we said we wanted to put an ad up every three minutes, that would be 10 ads per device per day. We're going to soon have 100 million devices [running the iPhone OS]. That's a billion ad opportunities per day in the iPhone and iPod touch community. This is a pretty serious opportunity."

Despite this hype, a report by the Wall Street Journal claimed only two of the first 17 advertisers managed to use it for a campaign in the month following its launch, and only three more in August. Apple's tight grip over the creative process was a problem cited for its lack of use.

Any issues there may be with Apple's control over the service do not seem to be affecting advertiser demand. L'Oréal head of strategic marketing Marc Menesguen describing the iAd as a “natural choice".

"We're thrilled by the quality, the interactivity and the depth of iAd's user experience, giving us an unparalleled opportunity to reach and serve the most engaged and discerning customers at the digital forefront of beauty", he continued.

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