Business Insider uncovered the emails between Schiller and the advertising company. Schiller initially forwarded a link to the WSJ's report entitled 'Has Apple Lost Its Cool to Samsung' saying, "We have a lot of work to do to turn this around".
The ad agency wrote back a long email with suggestions on how to fix the situation, comparing Apple in 2013 to Apple in 1997. Schiller didn't like the comparison:
Actually I am quite shocked at this response.
In last Marcom we watched the iPhone 5 launch video and listened to a product marketing presentation about the state of the business and competition. We discussed how the iPhone as a product and it's resulting market success is much better than people seem to be thinking about it. Pure marketing issues.
To come back and suggest that Apple needs to think dramatically different about how we are running our company is a shocking response. Also, to suggest we need to give you more free reign to spend money to explore ideas that you have not even tried to bring up in Marcom is shocking. We meet every week to discuss whatever we need to, no limit has been placed on what we discuss or how we explore issues, including our coming down to your facility for entire day long meetings.
This is not 1997. Nothing like it in any way. In 1997 Apple had no products to market. We had a company making so little money that we were 6 months from out of business. We were the dying, beleaguered Apple in needing of hitting a restart button that would take years to get turned around. Not the world's most successful tech company making the world's best products having created the smartphone and tablet for factors and leading in content distribution and software marketplaces. No the company that everyone wants to copy and compete with.
Yes, I am shocked. This doesn't sound like a path toward making great ads for iPhone and iPad that everyone inside and outside Apple are proud of. This is what we were asked to do.
The ad agency apologized repeatedly in an email which can be read below. Days later Schiller indicates they made some progress on iPad advertising but he was still unhappy with the progress on iPhone ads. He also indicated that the Apple board had started to question the matter.
You can read the full email exchange below...