Apple Pulls iAds From Kid-Focused Apps as Advertisers Target Efforts


MacStories reports on the experience of one App Store developer who recently saw the iAd fill rate for his Dex application for iOS drop to zero, discovering that Apple has essentially disabled iAds for kids-focused apps such as Dex in response to advertisers seeking to target their ads at other demographic segments. The developer reports:

Last Thursday I had a particularly awful iAd fill rate of 5%. This isn't new, I've had problems before. Then on Friday a 0% fill rate, then on Saturday another 0% fill rate. I emailed Apple and posted a question to the company's developer forums. Today I finally got a reply:

Follow-up: XXXXXXXXXXX

Hello Michael,

We periodically review the apps in the iAd Network to ensure that all apps receiving ads are aligned with the needs of our advertisers. Currently, our advertisers prefer that their advertising not appear in applications that are targeted for users that are young children, since their products are not targeted at that audience.

It is unclear whether the policy is a new one or if Dex had simply not been categorized as a kids app for iAd purposes until just last week, but the development does call into question of the viability of the iAd-supported business model for kids-focused apps given the low likelihood of companies seeking to target that market. Advertisers are of course keen to have their ads shown in front of those consumers most likely to be receptive to their campaigns, making the most efficient use of their advertising dollars.

Top Rated Comments

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121 months ago
Personally, I think this is a great idea to remove iAds from Kid Applications. I understand that this is probably more a strategic attempt at maximizing advertising dollars - but as an older Teenagers, I've seen what some ads could do to affect the younger ones. So - I think this is quite the good move!
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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121 months ago
This doesn't sound like Apple's banning iAds from kid apps. It just sound like they don't have any current clients for them.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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121 months ago
Banning ads in kids applications that are not appropriate for kids sounds good to me. Of course the greedy developer does not care and just hopes the kids clicks by accident on the colorful ad .....
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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121 months ago
Good call by Apple. I think it's sad that developers would even put iAds in a kid's app. Wasn't bad enough that they were trying to cash in on in-app purchases? Now they're trying to make money with kids clicking on ads? Anything for a buck huh? Why not put out an app that's worth paying the money for? Now there's an idea! I'm an iOS Developer, so I'm not talking out my ass. If your app is worth paying the money for, then you don't need to cash in with ads. And putting ads in your free version is just en excuse to cash in. There's little next to no extra time in compiling a free version alongside the full pay version. Anyone who tells you differently is just trying to use ads to cash in.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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121 months ago
I don't understand the problem. It seems perfectly fair to allow someone purchasing advertising to direct when or where the ads will show up. This is not really any different than ad agencies targeting certain TV shows for various demographics.

Frankly, I would be annoyed to pay for ads in an app for an audience I am not interested in...
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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121 months ago
not too fast

Until children have their own credit cards with credit lines, they are not a target. Just wait until Disney steps in with their "Tell your mommy to buy you this" ads. :rolleyes:
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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