First mobile video ads debut on iPhones

San Francisco start-up Ad Infuse is serving up the first video advertisements for Apple's handset. An initial experience leaves a lot to be desired.

A San Francisco start-up is launching the first mobile video ads for the iPhone on Wednesday.

CNET Networks

Ad Infuse is serving up ads from Esurance and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America on several sites, including Health & Fitness Mobile for Men and

I visited the HFM mobile site ( on my brand-new iPhone and clicked on one of its portable training programs. I waited four or five minutes while the ad downloaded and then a blank, white screen came on, making me wonder what to do next. The ad finally started playing, and I was able to watch the 10- or 12-second anti-drug spot before the training video for working out abs on an exercise ball started playing.

Wow, if that's the experience, I think I'll pass.

The problem was probably a slow connection over AT&T's network, but even Ad Infuse Chief Executive Brian Cowley acknowledged that the mobile Web application market is so nascent that the experience in some ways will be closer to dial-up than broadband.

I know publishers have to monetize their content, but maybe they should wait until the mobile infrastructure can handle it better.

Tech Culture
About the author

Elinor Mills covers Internet security and privacy. She joined CNET News in 2005 after working as a foreign correspondent for Reuters in Portugal and writing for The Industry Standard, the IDG News Service, and the Associated Press. E-mail Elinor.


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