What is a marketing app?

A little tale.

Before Christmas we submitted our latest project. A nice simple iPad application providing detailed information about a specific topic with images and videos to the user. After Apple's holiday break the app review process started and you end up feeling like a little kid waiting for the teacher's mark.

The shocking moment occurred a couple of days after the new year.


Marking the app icon with a red dot does not look satisfying and you instantly know that something went wrong. I guess this is one of the worst moments in a developers life. Thoughts come across your mind, all the possibilities and reasons why you could have failed.

So let's have a look into the resolution centre and the explanation why the app has been rejected.

2.13 Apps that are primarily marketing materials or advertisements will be rejected

OK. Take a deep breath. Relax for a second. Programming wasn't the problem. The concept was more involved it.

What to do, if your app was categorised as a marketing material only. Apple is not really precise in describing where they exactly draw the border.
We did a research on the App Store before we started the project and we found lots of similar apps. Although you can find many comments in forums it is nearly impossible to get a clear answer, at which point an app starts to be a marketing material.

Nevertheless, replying to the reviewer of the app by asking for detailed information about the distinction and providing similar apps, let the app being approved by them.

But how to get around it next time?

App Store
Review Guidelines