Apple's iAd to launch in Europe - UPDATE

18th Nov 2010

Apple has confirmed the launch of iAd in Europe, with the roll-out across the continent expected to begin in December.

The UK and France will be the first two countries in which the platform is rolled out, with ads forecast to appear in apps from companies including L'Oreal, Perrier, Renault, Citi, Louis Vuitton, Nespresso, Unilever, Evian, LG Display and Absolute Radio.

"We're thrilled to add leading global brands to the iAd Network in Europe and create even more great opportunities for developers," said Andy Miller, Apple's vice president of iAd. "In just four months, we've doubled the number of advertisers on the network and thousands of developers now have a valuable new source of revenue."

Nonetheless, the service has had a mixed reception in the US since its roll-out. Although the service, which targets interactive advertising at iPhone and iPod users, was greeted with acclaim across the Atlantic when it was first launched in April, enthusiasm has since waned because of high prices, a slow production process and customer withdrawals including Chanel and Adidas.

But Apple delayed the European launch of the offering twice in recent weeks and, according to the Financial Times, is now prepared to discuss running campaigns for budgets of less than the $1 million originally specified in order to attract high profile brand names.

Brands including L’Oreal are expected to run two or three campaigns running on iPhone and iPod Touch applications in early December. The majority of campaigns are not expected to appear until next year, however.

But one senior marketing group executive claimed that Apple was "still figuring out how to sell advertising" and that the necessary sell-side "infrastructure is missing" at the firm today.

"Clients don’t really take it that seriously yet. It goes in the experimental category, along with most of the rest of mobile advertising," he told the newspaper.

In June, Apple’s chief executive Steve Jobs said that the company had received $60 million-worth of commitments from advertisers including Nissan and Unilever and expected to capture half of the projected US spend on mobile display advertising.

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