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Apple has made its first concerted move into the UK mobile advertising market as it seeks to take advantage of the burgeoning sector.
The iPhone manufacturer has recruited two mobile ad industry heavyweights as it plans goes head to head with Google.
Apple has hired former Microsoft EMEA mobile advertising sales manager Theo Theodorou – who built Microsoft’s mobile ad network in new territories – as head of sales EMEA at its recently acquired mobile ad network Quattro Wireless.
He joins from publisher Hachette Filipacchi, where he was appointed commercial director of digital sales in October (nma 5 October 2009).
Meanwhile, Todd Tran, previously MD of Group M-owned mobile marketing agency Joule and a mobile ad industry veteran, has joined Apple as general manager for Europe of the Apple mobile ad network.
The moves come as Apple increases its focus on attracting UK digital media talent. It has appointed Jonny Freeman, Honda’s digital marketing manager, as EMEA digital advertising manager, while Simon Thompson, former Lastminute.com chief marketing officer, joined as EMEA general manager of Apple’s online store in August.
Apple bought Quattro Wireless last month for a reported $275m (£171m) (nma 5 January 2010). The acquisition followed Google’s purchase of rival mobile ad network AdMob for $750m (£467m) last November.
It’s likely Theodorou and Tran will take responsibility for building a network of publishers and advertisers across the mobile internet and apps.