Apple Considered Firing Longtime Ad Agency (Report)


Marketing chief Phil Schiller suggested to CEO Tim Cook that the tech giant might need to search for a new agency.

Apple considered parting ways with longtime advertising agency TBWA\Media Arts Lab, it was revealed in a series of email exchanges presented during Apple's ongoing patent dispute with Samsung, according to reports.

Apple marketing head Phil Schiller emailed CEO Tim Cook to suggest that the tech giant look for a new agency as rival Samsung was mocking Apple users and pointing out features available on Samsung phones that iPhones lacked in a series of commercials with the slogan, "The Next Big Thing Is Already Here."

Schiller wrote in part that Apple "may need to start a search for a new agency," according to The Wall Street Journal. He added, "We are not getting what we need from them and haven't been for a while."

Schiller also forwarded a Wall Street Journal article headlined "Has Apple Lost Its Cool to Samsung?" to James Vincent, Media Arts Lab's account lead for Apple, with the note, "We have a lot of work to do to turn this around," according to the Journal and CNET.

Samsung presented the emails as evidence during the trial, which is currently before the U.S. District Court in San Jose, as evidence that its phones have succeeded due to innovative features and clever marketing, not copying Apple.

Apple is one of TBWA's largest clients by revenue, the Journal reported, and the agency is responsible for some of Apple's most well-known campaigns, including its 1984 Super Bowl ad and its "Think Different" campaign.

Schiller said Friday that Media Arts Lab is still Apple's ad agency.

Neither Apple nor TBWA have yet responded to The Hollywood Reporter's requests for comment.