Apple’s latest TV ad for iPhone 5s

Following a report earlier this month that claimed Apple is in the process of moving its TV advertising in-house as it loosens ties with long-time partner TBWA. Today, AdAge adds more to the story noting Apple has been aggressively hiring from other ad agencies as well as “pitting TBWA/MAL against this internal agency with “jump balls” to mine the best creative ideas.” 

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.

The rest of the report details Apple’s hiring of talent from a number of high-profile ad agencies in recent years and notes that Apple aims to have its in-house agency eventually include around 1,000 employees. “Last fall, Ad Age reported that Apple was looking to build out its in-house team to 600 people from 300. Today, according to a high-level agency exec recently approached, Apple has upped that number to a massive 1,000.”

Earlier this year documents from an Apple vs Samsung trial leaked out showing the company’s relationship with advertising agency partner TBWA/Media Arts Lab was on the ropes.