When Steve Jobs unveiled iAd to the world, he promised an offering that would revolutionise mobile advertising.
But delivering on that promise has proven difficult for the technology company that has revolutionised so much in the past decade.
In fact, the offering's future looks quite uncertain. So what's Apple to do? Turn to one of your most-despised enemies, apparently.
According to Bloomberg's Adam Satariano, Apple has lured Adobe's Todd Teresi to head up iAd. Prior to the move, Teresi was Adobe's VP of media solutions, a position he held since May of last year.
Bloomberg's report has been confirmed by an unnamed GigaOm source, who says that Teresi has already started at his new employer. As GigaOm notes, Teresi's recruitment makes sense as "he has extensive experience in mobile and online advertising in his career, including at Quantcast, and Yahoo, where he was once senior vice president in charge of the company’s display ad business."
Whether that experience can turn iAd's fortunes around remains to be seen. Apple has reportedly been reducing its minimums to keep advertisers happy, and relinquishing some of the creative control that it demanded when Jobs was running the show, but the concessions may not have come soon enough in the rapidly-evolving world of mobile advertising.
iAd competitors like AdMob and Millennial Media have built up networks with greater audiences, and they give advertisers the opportunity to reach consumers on multiple mobile platforms. iAd, which is of course limited to iOS, looks attractive on paper, but to make a single-platform mobile ad network work, Teresi may have little choice but to find a way to bring Steve Jobs' vision to life.
That, unfortunately for Apple, may prove too big a challenge, even if it's one that the company has no choice but to take on.