A Bus and a Pedestrian Pass Advertising for Apple iPhone 6 in North London.
Neal Hall | Reuters
Apple's specialized advertising agency cuts staff.
The Omnicom Group-affiliated TBWA Media Advertising Lab dismissed several employees on Monday. The company would not say how fired they were, but a Bloomberg report that first broke the news put the number at 50.
"It was a difficult day yesterday because we had to part with some of our talented colleagues," a TBWA spokesman said / Media Arts Lab in a statement to CNBC on Tuesday. "Our relationship with Apple has never been stronger, but as our client's needs continue to evolve, we need to adapt and continue to evolve within our teams. Solutions like this are never easy, nor are taken lightly, but unfortunately the nature of the advertising business is unbelievable. We are incredibly grateful for the many contributions of those who leave us and the impact they have made at MAL and our work. "
Apple has a longstanding relationship with Omnicom Group TBWA, the agency behind the iconic ad and 1
Meanwhile, Apple's often-praised creative operations team is growing in number. A few months ago, the company hired Nick Lowe, chief creative officer at Publicis Groupe and creative superstar. According to Law's LinkedIn profile, he is now Vice President of Markom Integration at the company. Tor Myhren, Apple's vice president of marketing and communications, joined WPP gray in 2016. Apple recently hired Evelyn Neal, previously from TBWA / Chiat / Day, according to her LinkedIn profile.
The change comes when Apple offers marketing a slew of new products and services, from Apple TV + to its new branded credit card. Earlier this year, the Media Arts Lab hired new creative directors for the Los Angeles-based headquarters to oversee creativity for iPhone and services, including work for Apple TV +, Apple Music and Apple Pay, Adweek reported in May.
Apple began building a few years ago coming out of its own store, part of a broader trend of marketers doing certain advertising functions to regain control or save money.
"[Media Arts Lab] is now competing with one of the best agencies in the business, and it's Apple's internal agency," said Avi Dan, founder and CEO of Avidan Strategies. He added that by marketing an expanding range of products and expansion areas, the company can look for more sophisticated creative operations and rely more on internal resources to do so.
Greg Paul, co-founder and co-founder of the consulting firm R3, said the impetus for creative work between Apple's internal operations and its specialist agency is not necessarily new.
"The pendulum has always been swinging between the Media Arts Lab and Apple for many years. The agency is a little at will.
But while brands seeking the success of Apple's own agency may be inspired by its results, Paull says one difference is the people Apple has inside.
"The difference between everyone else's internal agency and Apple's internal agency is talent – the best in the world are attracted by Cupertino, and this facilitates the development of big ideas inside."