Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 6:19 am.

Apple hasn’t given up on iAds

It’s been a long time since Apple said anything in public about its iAd mobile advertising product, but things are still apparently moving along behind the scenes.

The WSJ’s Emily Steel and Jessica Vascellaro report that Apple has been tweaking iAd spending requirements, establishing a training program, and even inviting marketing execs to Apple’s campus in California:

In recent weeks about 30 senior marketing executives, from firms including PepsiCo Inc., Clorox Co. and J.C. Penney Co., visited Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. The marketers got a tour and a series of information sessions with Apple designers and product teams.

My vision for iAd is still as a mobile ad format that Apple could also open up beyond its ad network. As I wrote in September:

[Apple should consider] allowing others to use iAd technology — both its creative format and targeting capabilities — for ads that Apple doesn’t sell. This could start with a few big publishers that sell their own ads — perhaps the New York Times and ESPN — and could eventually be further opened up. Charge a small ad serving rate for those ads and help publishers fill the rest of their inventory with Apple-brokered iAds.

This is, admittedly, not an “Apple-like” thing to do. But neither is selling ads in the first place.

More: How Apple can fix iAd