How much can being a control freak cost Apple’s iAd program? In the case of Adidas, the price reportedly was $10 million. That’s the figure one publication this weekend reported the Cupertino, Calif. company lost because “Apple CEO Steve Jobs was being too much of a control freak.”
According to Silicon Alley Insider, Apple rejected three advertising concepts proposed by the sporting goods maker, causing the iAds campaign to hit the showers. “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. Although Apple plans to open up the process in the future, “some advertisers have lost their patience.”
Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz in September opined that keeping advertisers in the dark would cause iAds to “fall apart.” The iAds program, however, is “good for experimentation,” Bartz said at the time. (Bartz’ own job appears in jeopardy, according to recent reports forecasting a shakeup by the search engine.)
This latest report, if true, would make the second large advertiser to pull out of iAd. Chanel reportedly was the first. In August, the Wall Street Journal reported advertisers were upset over Apple’s “tight control over the creative process,” often causing iAd campaign development to take eight to ten weeks to finish – two weeks longer than usual. Apple’s requirement to create the ads themselves was noted as the primary reason for the delays.
While some advertisers have complained of Apple’s heavy-handed treatment, others have gushed to the media about the large pay-offs. Automaker Nissan, for example, said its iAd received five times as many clicks as traditional online advertising.