Apple's App Store Review guidelines for developers state "Apps or metadata that mentions the name of any other mobile platform will be rejected"
Developers have recently seen Apple enforcing this policy - not for the app's name, content or metadata, but for their monetization solutions.
These apps are rejected for showing ads that feature references to other mobile platforms.
Developers are told they will not be approved until all tags, references and images related to Google Play and Windows Store are removed from the ads.
In this increasingly competitive market, it is understandable that mobile platforms will continue to take actions to keep users in their ecosystem and not to encourage promotion of their competition.
For example, when a user watches a video ad from an iPhone app and the video promotes availability on both Google Play and Apple Store, it can be seen as recurring free brand advertising for other platforms as well as promoting the app in the video.
How to comply?
But if your ads are managed by ad networks, what can developers do to comply with Apple?
NativeX CEO Rob Weber says, "The tricky part of these rejections is that developers rely on ad networks to supply the ads shown.
"If an ad network is not compliant to the new demands of submission for a specific platform or are unable to quickly adapt, developers must either remove or replace the non-compliant ad networks in order to be approved."
Juggling the speed of innovation along with constant changes is not easy for most mobile ad networks, but it can be done.
"NativeX is currently, to my knowledge, one of the only major ad technology company compliant with the scope of these new requirements," adds Weber.
"Our ads for iOS only show visuals and tags for the Apple platform and not for their competitors.
"We've built our platform to be highly adaptable so that we can quickly provide robust and efficient solutions for both our developers and advertisers that allow for optimal monetization and user acquisition."
Need to know
A few developers with apps that had been recently rejected by Apple give additional insight from the feedback they received.
One developer said, "Apple reported back to us that they rejected our app for displaying a video ad that has iOS, Google, and Amazon compatibility tags."
Another reports, "Apple says I have to resubmit a binary that doesn't contain any mention of other mobile platforms. They did not tell me how I could show ads and guarantee that doesn't happen."
The rejections are happening for any ad format that makes reference to another platform.
For developers, to be sure that the ads shown are compliant, they should not mention competing platforms in interstitial art, video end cards, or in the video itself.
For an ad network to adhere to those guidelines, they must carefully monitor all content they are hosting as well as have strict guidelines for any partners supplying additional ad through an exchange or other sources.
The rejections are happening for any ad format that makes reference to another platform. It's not just for video but also interstitials, too.
For advertisers, remember when designing your creatives that you will need to create content which is made specifically for Apple.
However, you don't need to sacrifice performance for compliance.
"Our technology and speed of adaptability is not only beneficial to stay on top of the changes in the industry like this one, but is also helping us to outpace competition in many aspects, which is leading to our fast growth," Rob Weber ends.
"For example, responsive changes in ad unit design have been a key factor to our recent video growth. This year our top game advertisers saw a rise in number of conversions for video ads by 700 percent from January 1 to March 31.
"Success is attributed to better performance in video ads for both advertisers and game publishers who integrate NativeX SDK."