August 17, 2011
In a sign that Apple’s much-criticized mobile advertising program, iAd, could soon get a much-needed facelift, company sources today announced the departure of its VP of mobile advertising. Andy Miller, who arrived at Apple in 2006, will soon be leaving, according to All Things Digital. Launched in 2010, iAd grew out of Apple’s acquisition of Quattro Wireless, a marketing company co-founded by Miller. Since then, critics have argued that Apple’s tight control over iAds and their high prices have caused the service to lag behind similar offerings available through Google and others. Via iAd, Apple offers interactive rich-media ads on iPhone and iPod touch apps. Miller is expected to become a general partner at Highland Capital, the Boston-based venture firm that had funded Quattro. In the meantime, Apple is expected to begin a search for Miller’s replacement very soon. While this departure doesn’t necessary mean a change in direction for iAd, Apple could use it to reassess its mobile advertising goals and objectives. In April, under the headline “Apple Lays Its First Egg Of The Millennium,” we reported that Apple was struggling with signing up new advertising clients. In fact, even though the service launched in June 2010, it wasn’t until this past May that the company signed up its 100th customer. Initial iAds had a minimum price tag of $1 million. Now, however, Apple is said to be charging far less per campaign.