Within one day of the new ad slots going live, Apple issued a terse statement:

“We have paused ads related to gambling and a few other categories on App Store product pages.”

It’s now nearly a week later, and the gambling/hookup/psychic-type ads still don’t seem to be showing up (well, mostly), but it’s also just as hard to see why Apple is selling these spots in the first place. Well, duh, for the money, yes — that’s obviously the only plausible answer. But how much money can these ads be generating? How much can Apple hope they eventually generate? It can’t possibly be enough money to justify the damage it’s doing to Apple’s brand. These App Store ads are like the “Intel Inside” stickers on PC laptops — they’re worth money, but the money’s not worth it. Who’s laughing about those stickers now?

“No ads in the App Store, period” would have been a powerful, appealing message. One that Apple could have used to justify its control over all software on the platform and its much-debated mandatory cut of all app and game transactions. “We sell ads in the App Store, but they’re OK because they don’t track you” seems to be the message Apple is going for, but that’s neither powerful nor appealing. It boils down to “Hey, it could be worse.”


I think the decision to show more ads in the App Store is a really bad decision from Apple. Advertising will ruin the user experience of the App Store. We see it time and time again that advertise systems cannot be trusted. Bad apples will always misuse it.