Bloomberg reports today that Apple’s external advertising agency, Media Arts Lab, has cut around 50 employees this week. The report explains that the job cuts were made “in several divisions,” but that many happened in the strategy division that worked closely with Apple.
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One of the job cuts was Geoff Edwards, Media Arts Lab’s executive creative director and head of advertising for Apple Services. Edwards was promoted to this position in May, so it’s certainly notable to see him on the way out after less than six months.
Furthermore, the departure of Edwards comes as Apple continues to ramp up its various subscription services, including Apple TV+. In May, a report emphasized that Edwards would be tasked with leading the marketing of these new services, including last week’s debut of TV+.
In a statement, Media Arts Lab explained that its relationship with Apple has never been stronger, despite these job cuts:
“Yesterday was a difficult day, as we had to part with some of our talented colleagues,” a Media Arts Lab spokeswoman said in an emailed statement. “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 echoed that sentiment in its own statement:
“Apple’s confidence and trust in MAL as our singular ad agency is as strong as it’s ever been. As we continue to evolve our marketing approach, we’ve asked MAL to do the same,” said Tor Myhren, vice president, marketing communications at Apple.
Over the years, the relationship between Apple and Media Arts Lab has evolved. In 2017, for instance, Apple shifted its marketing focus to regional and digital campaigns. In 2014, reports suggested that the relationship between Apple and Media Arts Lab became strained, with Apple reportedly considering firing the agency.
Nonetheless, Apple and Media Arts Lab have had a decades-long partnership, with Apple being the firm’s only client. Media Arts Lab, based out of Los Angeles, is owned by global advertising company TBWAChiatDay.
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