Apple's controls cost it cash

Apple’s control freak attitude to the world is costing it advertising dollars and raises the question as to whether the outfit’s culture can handle the mainstream advertising industry.

Shoemaker Adidas has cancelled a $10 million deal for mobile advertisements on Apple’s iAd service, because the company refused to do what Steve Jobs‘ said over its advertising campaign.

Silicon Alley Insider  claimed that Adidas pulled its campaign because “Apple CEO Steve Jobs was being too much of a control freak.” Apparently the trainer maker had a creative concept rejected three times and was not allowed to spend its $10 million the way it liked.

But they are not the only ones to moan. Advertisers complain about the lack of control over visibility into where their ads appear, lack of third-party ad serving tools, and other problems, Silicon Alley said.

Chanel, one of the launch partners with iAd, has also decided to cancel its campaign. Which makes the departure of Adidas the second high-profile punter to tell Jobs where to stick it.

Apparently Jobs’ Mob has promised to open up the process once its’ more comfortable with the program, but it appears some advertisers have lost their patience.

It is not just Silicon Alley Insider making the claims either. The Wall Street Journal  said in August that advertisers have been frustrated over Apple’s “tight control over the creative process” for iAds.

Apple makes demands that it builds the ads itself and then takes two weeks longer than the advertising industry demands.

It seems that Apple’s culture of telling users what to do and having total control over them is not the way the advertising industry works, and many more campaigns could be lost because Apple can’t understand this.

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz once predicted that Apple’s obsessive control will drive advertisers away and cause the fledgling service to “fall apart.” While she would say that, she has a point. Apple needs to stop automatically telling people what to do, or else it could lose everything.