Apple to launch iPhone iAds network in Europe soon

Apple’s iAd advertising platform is, reportedly, due to launch in Europe with its first partners, at any moment. Last week the network launched in Japan, in with Japanese agency Dentsu, representing its first steps internationally.

The FT reports that Apple has so far “twice delayed” the European iAd launch recently but that two or three campaigns could run in early December, though most will go live in January. Though the ad network has had a mixed reception in the US in April, the enthusiasm has slowed, with high prices for ads, a slow production process and client withdrawals, reports the FT.

Back in June Apple had $60m pledged from advertisers like Nissan and Unilever. But of the 17 partners Apple announced at least two have left, including Chanel and Adidas.

Unsurprisingly, big brands and agencies are finding their interaction with Apple less that easy – welcome to the world of the app developer guys!

However, Justin Cooke, Chair, British Interactive Media Association commented: “The launch of iAds in Europe is great news for the British interactive and mobile advertising sector… Apple’s brand presence combined with iAds’s targeting capabilities also will extend the profile of mobile advertising, which the entire sector can only benefit from.”

In Europe Apple faces a less wealthy market (apart from the UK) and is preparing to run campaigns for less than the $1m minimum spend it requires in the US.

The European launch (slated for UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain) will let app developers and advertisers target iPhone users in the region. Some possible partners so far include L’Oréal, Renault and Nestlé.

My feeling is that although ad agencies and big corporates will take a while to warm up to iAds, app developers will embrace it with gusto.

IDC estimates Apple’s US mobile ads businesse will be worth $105m in 2010, much less that Google’s $400m in US sales for search search and display ads.