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Apple’s iAd Is Turning Japanese With Dentsu

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Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) has been fielding some criticism over its tight control of its iAd advertising network up to now at home. Now we’ll get to see how iAd fares elsewhere. The company has announced a deal to extend iAd to the lucrative Japanese market in partnership with advertising giant Dentsu in early 2011. In Japan, Apple will host, target and deliver the iAds to iPhone and iPod touch users, while Dentsu will be responsible for the selling and creative execution of iAds.

According to Apple’s release, Dentsu subsidiary cyber communications will provide “one-stop services for iAd in Japan including creative production and media planning.”

Mobile ad company Smaato released a report this month that said Japan is currently the world’s biggest mobile advertising market, and will bring in revenues of $1 billion in 2010.

It’s not clear whether the Dentsu deal is exclusive in the Japanese market, but it appears that this may be the first agency deal of its kind for iAd.

But Apple may be hoping for more deals like it: last week reports emerged that the company is building an office in New York for its iAd team to put them in closer contact with Madison Avenue.

When iAd first launched in July, Apple said that some $60 million of media spend had already been secured. Meanwhile, Google (NSDQ: GOOG) in October reported that its mobile advertising business had reached annualized revenues of $1 billion.