Gambling App Store ads are showing up next to addiction recovery apps
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There are more ads in the App Store, including gambling apps next to kids applications — and worse yet, next to gambling addiction recovery ones.
Developer Marco Arment shared a screenshot of the advertising controls for product pages in the App Store. The tool shows that advertisers can choose to show their ads across all app categories, similar app categories, and other categories.
Correction to earlier tweet (deleted): product-page ads are NOT limited to relevant apps.— Marco Arment (@marcoarment) October 26, 2022
You can specifically choose to show your ad against irrelevant apps!
(Just not specific apps. They're saying "Advertise my casino everywhere," not "Advertise my casino against Overcast.") pic.twitter.com/hrAWdJDyyb
Apple also provides a demographic filter for the app advertisers to choose a country, gender, or age range for their ads. The ads aren't necessarily targeted at kids, but they could appear connected to kids' apps, at least on accounts not bound by age restrictions or parental controls.
Of course, the demographic filter doesn't do much if the ad buyer doesn't bother with accurate data either on purpose or accidentally.
Perhaps worse yet, there are gambling apps being attached to listings for gambling addiction apps. AppleInsider has seen several of these.
What's this? Ads for gambling at the bottom of a listing for a gambling addiction recovery app. How could this possibly go wrong? #Apple #appstore pic.twitter.com/9MQQvDMx8r— Jon (@hot_doggin_jon) October 26, 2022
Apple started testing the new App Store ad placements in July. It expands ad slots to the App Store's Today page, the "You Might Also Like" section in an app's product page, and the Search tab.
On Tuesday, other developers pointed out gambling ads appearing on their app pages. For example, Simon Stovring reported that he'd found that gambling ads appeared on pages for his apps 30% of the time.
Apple's expanded ad placements in the App Store went into effect on October 25. The ads will appear in the respective regional App Stores in all countries where it operates — except China.