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Apple to launch iAd in UK next month

New mobile advertising platform to offer advertising inside mobile apps.

Apple is launching its mobile advertising platform iAd in the UK, France and other European countries next month, the US consumer electronics maker announced in a company press release on Thursday.

It will be available in Germany in January, the company added.

The iPad maker's advertising service, which offers advertising inside mobile apps on devices including the iPhone, will launch in Europe with commercials from consumer brands such as Unilever, L'Oréal, Renault and Louis Vuitton.

In just four months, Apple has doubled the number of advertisers on the mobile advertising platform, said Andy Miller, vice-president of iAd.

iAd has signed on over half of the top 25 leading US national advertisers in just four months, with a projected 21 per cent share of US mobile display advertising revenue for 2010 according to research firm IDC, Apple quoted in the press release.

L'Oréal's head of strategic marketing Marc Menesguen said the cosmetic brand is thrilled by the "quality, interactivity and the depth of iAd's user experience".

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Is anyone prepared to solve the NHS funding crisis?

As long as the political taboo on raising taxes endures, the service will be in financial peril. 

It has long been clear that the NHS is in financial ill-health. But today's figures, conveniently delayed until after the Conservative conference, are still stunningly bad. The service ran a deficit of £930m between April and June (greater than the £820m recorded for the whole of the 2014/15 financial year) and is on course for a shortfall of at least £2bn this year - its worst position for a generation. 

Though often described as having been shielded from austerity, owing to its ring-fenced budget, the NHS is enduring the toughest spending settlement in its history. Since 1950, health spending has grown at an average annual rate of 4 per cent, but over the last parliament it rose by just 0.5 per cent. An ageing population, rising treatment costs and the social care crisis all mean that the NHS has to run merely to stand still. The Tories have pledged to provide £10bn more for the service but this still leaves £20bn of efficiency savings required. 

Speculation is now turning to whether George Osborne will provide an emergency injection of funds in the Autumn Statement on 25 November. But the long-term question is whether anyone is prepared to offer a sustainable solution to the crisis. Health experts argue that only a rise in general taxation (income tax, VAT, national insurance), patient charges or a hypothecated "health tax" will secure the future of a universal, high-quality service. But the political taboo against increasing taxes on all but the richest means no politician has ventured into this territory. Shadow health secretary Heidi Alexander has today called for the government to "find money urgently to get through the coming winter months". But the bigger question is whether, under Jeremy Corbyn, Labour is prepared to go beyond sticking-plaster solutions. 

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.