Apple has stirred the waters once more, but this time for all the right reasons. According to Mike Zornek, developer of Dex, a Pokèmon browser app, Apple will no longer display iAds in apps targeting young children.
Apple cites Advertisers’ preference not to show ads to this particular audience, so this move may not be as genuine as I’d like it to be, but still – one less way to use children in playing out marketing practices sounds like good news to me.
Michael posted an email he sent to Apple inquiring on the matter, and Apple’s response:
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:
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.
We appreciate your understanding.
iAd Network Support Apple, Inc. 1 Infinite Loop Cupertino, CA 95014
Zornek’s app, Dex, is clearly targeted to kids playing Pokèmon on their Nintendo handhelds who also have an iPod touch or iPhone, the developer explains on his blog. Whilst he acknowledges Apple has all the rights to adjust and refine the iAd platform to its needs, he also says direct communication of the change prior to noticing low fill rates would have been nice.
On the other hand, the change could be relevant to developers of apps and, more importantly, games that are targeted to kids, and come as free downloads with integrated advertisements…
More developers will likely weigh in throughout the week, but we’re interested in your thoughts. Sound off in the comments!