A new report has revealed internal disagreements within Apple, causing some employees working on the company’s ad business to raise concerns that showing more ads to iPhone users is ruining the premium experience it has long offered its customers. The information Reports.
The long report of The information takes a deep dive into how Apple’s ad team works and internal concerns that the company’s already growing ad business is going too far. According to the report, for example, Apple’s ad sellers are prohibited from using specific keywords when talking about the company’s ad business. Marketers should use “audience refinement” instead of “targeting”, “platform” instead of “algorithm” and say “competitor keywords” and “brand defense” instead of “conquest”.
An Apple spokesperson, responding to the list of prohibited words, said The information that the company wants employees to use language tailored to Apple’s offering and that terms like “targeting” don’t apply because Apple doesn’t let advertisers target specific users. Apple does not allow advertisers to target a demographic of fewer than 5,000 users to protect user privacy, according to the company.
While publicly, Apple shows a unified front on ads, especially those in the App Store, intended to help developers get more users and customers to discover more apps, internally, employees are less than satisfied with the current approach. In internal chatrooms, at least seven employees who worked on Apple’s ad team expressed concerns that the company is going too far in its ad business and damaging the premium experience of using an iPhone. The report indicates that in 2018, Apple had plans to show users ads in Spotlight Search on iOS, but it was reportedly abandoned after possible internal backlash.
Some managers in Apple’s ad department previously pushed salespeople to present advertising opportunities to different companies using keywords that were less relevant to their apps but that were less expensive than other keywords, according to the report. Managers’ requests often made sellers uncomfortable, adding that Apple’s ad team did not have access to contact information or financial details about developers in the App Store, which further alienated them.
In recent weeks, developers, customers and critics of Apple have all expressed disapproval of the company’s plans to expand its ad footprint in the App Store. Reports also suggest that Apple plans to introduce ads into Apple Maps and Apple TV+. Even with the expansion in ads, Apple has no ambition to grow its ad business to the size of Meta or Google, according to a person familiar with the matter cited by the report.
But within Apple, there doesn’t seem to be much appetite for goals that big at the moment. A person familiar with Apple’s ad business said the company has no ambitions to compete on the same level as Meta and Google in digital advertising, nor does it plan to build an advertising network similar to that of its rivals that serve ads to users . outside of their own apps and services. The person said that advertising executives are satisfied with revenue growth based on Apple’s existing advertising spots and do not plan to significantly increase the number of ads on iPhones to meet growth targets.
In the meantime, Apple has paused ads in the App Store for specific categories after a botched roll-out last month, and the company has not formalized plans to expand ads into other services. According to BloombergMark Gurman, Apple’s advertising chief Todd Teresi wants to double Apple’s current revenue from its ad business to $10 billion annually, up from the current $4 billion.