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Adidas cancels $10M iAd contract due to Apple's control - rumor


Shoemaker Adidas has reportedly canceled a $10 million deal for mobile advertisements on Apple's iAd service, because the iPhone maker has allegedly exerted too much control over the process.

Citing two mobile industry executives, Silicon Alley Insider has claimed that Adidas pulled its campaign because "Apple CEO Steve Jobs was being too much of a control freak." Adidas is rumored to have a creative concept rejected three times, prompting the move.

"In addition to Apple's unusual control over the ad creation process, advertisers complain about the lack of control over visibility into where their ads appear, lack of third-party ad serving tools, and other issues," the report said. "Apple plans to open up the process once its' more comfortable with the program, but it appears some advertisers have lost their patience."

The report largely reaffirms what The Wall Street Journal claimed in August, when the paper said that advertisers have been frustrated over Apple's "tight control over the creative process" for iAds. It was said that Apple's mobile advertisements take between eight and 10 weeks from start to finish, and Apple, which builds the ads itself, was taking two weeks longer than advertisers expected.

It was noted that Chanel, one of the launch partners with iAd, decided to cancel its campaign. If true, the departure of Adidas would be the second high-profile customer lost.

iAds provide richly interactive ad experiences inside developers' apps, providing them a 60 percent cut of the advertising revenue. The hope is the advertisements — noted by the iAd logo in the corner — will be more compelling to users, because they don't have to leave their app and launch a browser to view them.

Competitors have been quick to highlight Apple's unconventional approach with iAds. In September, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz said she thinks Apple's tight control will drive advertisers away and cause the fledgling service to "fall apart."