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Thursday, August 19, 2010, 01:00 pm PT (04:00 pm ET)

Apple shutting down Quattro banner ads to focus on iAd

Apple has announced that its Quattro Wireless subsidiary will no longer accept new campaigns for conventional mobile banner ads and that all resources will be devoted to interactive iAds instead.

In a a letter to advertisers published by Dan Frommer of SAI, Andy Miller, Apple's vice president of iAd (and former chief executive of the Quattro Wireless ad network Apple acquired late last year), outlined the changes scheduled to occur over the next month.

"Since the launch of the iAd Network just over a month ago," Miller wrote, "advertisers and developers have been telling us how much they love this powerful new way to reach iPhone and iPod touch users right in their favorite apps."

"Mobile ads suck"

At the launch of iAd, Apple's chief executive Steve Jobs ridiculed existing mobile banner ads as ineffectual and inherently problematic because they divert users away from apps and into the browser to display an external web link. That's bad for app developers, and annoying for users, and results in advertisers' messages being associated with a poor experience.

Jobs outlined a plan to introduce iAd as a fully self contained environment that opens within developers' apps to present an interactive marketing message users can dismiss at any time to return to what they were doing.

"iAds are captivating viewers with high-quality video and rich media experiences, engaging customers like never before and already delivering dramatic results," Miller said in the memo to partners. "Advertisers are seeing a huge spike in the amount of time customers spend watching and interacting with ads, making them more comparable to television advertising than traditional online ads, and developers are thrilled with this new source of revenue."

Exclusively iAd

Encouraged by the success of iAd, Apple is now shutting down Quattro's previous implementation of standard banner ads, which worked much like the ads placed in mobile apps by Google's AdMob subsidiary.

"We believe iAd is the best mobile ad network in the world, and starting next month we're going to focus all of our resources on the iAd advertising platform," Miller stated. "We are no longer accepting new campaigns for the Quattro Wireless Network, and we will soon begin winding down existing campaigns. As of September 30, we will support ads exclusively for the iAd Network.

"Advertisers can learn more about iAd here," Miller wrote, linking to the new advertising.apple.com site. "If you are a developer, find out how to generate revenue and promote your apps using iAd here," which he linked to the developer.apple.com/iad/ site, shown in part below.

"We look forward to working with you on this incredible new opportunity in mobile advertising. If you are a current Quattro Wireless developer or advertiser and have questions about this change, please contact your account manager," Miller added.

Apple iAd website