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Monday, July 14, 2014, 02:13 pm PT (05:13 pm ET)

Apple may ditch longtime ad agency TBWA, look to Beats' Jimmy Iovine for marketing

A report on Monday says ad industry executives are speculating that Apple's longtime relationship with agency TBWA\Media Arts Lab is near its breaking point, with some insiders predicting the tech giant will look to Beats' Jimmy Iovine to revitalize its marketing magic.



According to the New York Post, Madison Avenue executives are giddy over the prospect that Apple may soon ditch longtime ad partner TBWA\Media Arts Lab in favor of a new agency, with some saying the Cupertino company is looking to Beats' cofounder Jimmy Iovine to reinvigorate the brand's marketing operations.

"Apple bought Beats for a lot of reasons," said one unnamed ad executive. "They think they're marketing geniuses. It is safe to assume Beats would be part of an assessment of all [Apple] partners."

Among other "evidence," ad execs point to email correspondence that came out in April as part of Apple's second California court case against Samsung. In a series of emails, Apple SVP of Worldwide Marketing Phil Schiller expressed concern to TBWA over Samsung's recent rise in marketing prowess.

Specifically, the Korean company managed to gain enough traction that the Wall Street Journal ran a critique of Apple's ad efforts, asking "Has Apple Lost Its Cool To Samsung?" Schiller pressed TBWA, telling the ad firm, "We have a lot of work to do to turn this around."

TBWA\Media Arts Lab, an offshoot of TBWA\Chiat\Day specifically tasked to handle Apple's account, responded with a memo that suggested Apple make sweeping organizational operating changes. Schiller was apparently "shocked" by the response, which TBWA later recanted as "overblown."

On the flip side, a report from June 2013 claimed TBWA\Media Arts Lab has supposedly been at odds with Schiller's management style since Apple cofounder Steve Jobs died in 2011.

A report from June claimed Apple is quickly building out its own ad team with more than 1,000 hires in sales and creative personnel.

Most recently, a survey looked at the effectiveness of Apple ads over the past year, pitting those made by TBWA against in-house creations from Apple. The study gave higher marks to the outside ad agency.