Apparently, TBWA/Media Arts Lab was presenting an idea to the company recently when the Apple executive across the table stopped the proceedings and handed over another idea, saying, "We like this better." The ad was created by Apple's in-house shop.
Amid criticisms that it has failed to innovate, Apple is increasingly taking marketing into its own hands. It's madly building an internal agency that it's telling recruits will eventually number 1,000 -- the size of Grey Advertising. It's pitting TBWA/MAL against this internal agency with "jump balls" to mine the best creative ideas, a controversial tactic with outside agencies, let alone an internal one. It's going after some of adland's boldest-faced names to staff its in-house shop -- in some cases, it's even poached executives from TBWA/MAL. And, in what once would have been seen as a sacrilegious breach of the Apple-MAL bond, it's been inviting some of the ad industry's top shops to pitch on major projects.
While Apple seems to be pushing forward with its plans, some don't feel a creative energy from the company.
"I don't feel that energy from Apple," said one top agency exec approached for a post. "The revolution has come and gone, and I'm not sure a job at Apple would be a creative opportunity. If I were going to go brand-side, there are a lot more interesting companies I'd rather work for, like Coke or Pepsi."
Apple SVP Phil Schiller, exploded on TBWA/Media Arts Lab, the company's advertising agency, in a recently uncovered email exchange made public thanks to its Apple's trial against Samsung. 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". Check out the entire exchange which may have led Apple to pursue its own ad agency.
Earlier this month, Bloomberg also confirmed that Apple was moving its ads in-house.