8 April 2014 - 12:04pm | posted by | 4 comments

Leaked email shows Apple marketing SVP Phil Schiller rage over ‘shocking response’ by ad agency

A leaked letter from Phil Schiller, Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing, saw the man rage at ad agency TBWA/Media Arts Lab following Samsung’s Next Best Thing ad: a campaign which suggested the Samsung Galaxy 4 was much better than the iPhone.

Samsung lawyer Jon Quinn – who earlier this year claimed that Schiller wanted to change ad agencies following last year’s advert – has sudden proof in a series of leaked emails between the SVP and his ad agency, dated January 2013.

While the original email from Schiller was not leaked, the somewhat defensive response from TBWA/Media Arts Lab begins “We understand the totally critical nature of this moment. This perfect storm of factors is driving a chilling negative narrative on Apple.”

The author of the letter then goes on to discuss what Apple could do to become better, including the suggesting to “change the conversation” in advertising, while making a reference to 1997 – where Apple was close to closure.

Creative Review: 

“I am quite shocked at this response,” Schiller wrote in a sharp reply. “To come back and suggest that Apple needs to think dramatically about how we are running our company is a shocking response.”

He went on to add “This doesn’t sound like a path toward making great ads for iPhone and iPad that everyone inside and outside Apple are proud of. That is what we were asked to do.”

The agency then came back with an apology, below, admitting it may have had an ‘over-blown’ reaction to the original email.


8 Apr 2014 - 13:37
alanflack's picture

Classic corporate ignorance going on here. Schiller completely overlooking the fact that part of the reason for people's declining favour with Apple is about non-product things. Failure to pay tax, storing Billions overseas, Chinese workers etc. Sure, there are product reasons too - crap battery performance on iPhones, different charging unit for every product release, overpriced accessories etc. THESE are classic marketing issues - maynot be fixable by MarComs alone, but they need addressing and fixing at a corporate level.

8 Apr 2014 - 13:47
john_smart's picture

I think Schiller's got it right. If my agency didn't know where to find the shift key, I'd sack 'em out of hand

8 Apr 2014 - 17:23
charly's picture

Can't help thinking that picking up the phone to the client to discuss prior to sending might have prevented a considerable time spent by the agency on their emails.

8 Apr 2014 - 22:39

LOL what they fail to see is part of their demise is their arrogance, their closed-system, their greed, their paranoid patent trolling... and then there is the dishonesty of pretending to be great innovators that everyone wants to copy... meantime they "borrow" ideas left right and centre. Nope apple has become very uncool, very much the brand of those who want status but have no brain to choose something else.


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