AirPods AdSource: TBWA/Media Arts Lab

What you need to know

  • Advertising Agency Media Arts Lab has cut around 50 employees from its workforce.
  • Media Arts Lab has worked exclusively with Apple for several years.
  • The company cited the changing needs of Apple as the reason for the cuts.

A report via Bloomberg has revealed that advertising agency Media Arts Lab has cut around 50 employees from its workforce.

Media Arts Lab has been Apple's outside advertising agency for several years, and Apple is its only client. According to the report:

Apple Inc.'s outside advertising agency has cut about 50 employees, according to people familiar with the matter. The firm said it was adjusting to the changing needs of its only client.

The staff reductions at Media Arts Lab were made Monday in several divisions, but many of the job cuts happened in the strategy division that helps Apple come up with ads for its latest products.

A spokeswoman for the company stated:

"Yesterday was a difficult day, as we had to part with some of our talented colleagues... Our relationship with Apple has never been stronger, but as the needs of our client continue to evolve, we must adapt and continue to evolve the composition of our teams."

Apple's VP of marketing communications, Tor Myhren, also reiterated that its confidence and trust in MAL was "as strong as it's ever been." Media Arts Lab has worked with Apple for years on some of its most iconic ad campaigns, including the famous 1984 Super Bowl commercial.

It has also worked with Apple on the "Shot on iPhone" campaign amongst other initiatives. One of the big names out the door is Geoff Edwards, who was MAL's executive creative director and head of advertising for Apple Services. Edwards was in charge of Apple TV+'s advertising campaign in the run-up to its launch last week.

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At this stage, there's no indication from reports as to how the changes could reflect a shift in Apple's marketing campaign. However, as CNBC notes, Apple has been shoring up its in-house marketing division for several years. CEO of Avidan Strategies, Avi Dan, spoke about the change saying:

″Media Arts Lab is competing now with one of the best agencies in the business, and that's the in-house agency of Apple,"

He also suggested that as Apple widens its array of products and areas of expansion, it may be seeking to deploy more intricate marketing and creative operations, relying more on internal resources to accomplish this. Another commenter, Greg Paull of consulting firm R3 stated that "the pendulum has always been swinging between Media Arts Lab and Apple for many years." He also lamented somewhat that the firm was at "the mercy of Apple's whims and directions."