Chiat Day puts Apple's PR in tough spot over ad threat

CUPERTINO, CA: Elbowing in on territory usually reserved for PR firms, Apple Computer's ad agency landed the company in editorial hot water last week.

CUPERTINO, CA: Elbowing in on territory usually reserved for PR firms, Apple Computer's ad agency landed the company in editorial hot water last week.

CUPERTINO, CA: Elbowing in on territory usually reserved for PR firms, Apple Computer's ad agency landed the company in editorial hot water last week.

According to a September 14 ZDNET story, Apple's ad agency, LA-based TBWA/Chiat Day, recently contacted Macworld and Macweek requesting statements from the publishers or editorial departments asserting that the publications 'do not participate in publishing rumors or speculation about Apple or Mac.' The implication was the agency wouldn't buy space in publications that print rumors.

But this time, the media couldn't point the finger at PR. According to Harry Pforzheimer, EVP and GM of Edelman Worldwide/Mountain View, Apple's PR firm of record, 'It is clear that this action was not an Apple initiative; whatever effort the agency undertook, it was done independent of the direction or knowledge of anyone on the PR team at Edelman or Apple.'

Apple corporate PR director Katie Cotton couldn't be reached for comment, but TBWA/Chiat Day PR director Jeremy Miller confirmed that his agency acted independently on this matter.

'Apple was not involved. But the story was inaccurate. We did not request any kind of statement from the publishers. We did ask what their editorial policy was regarding publishing rumors, but this is part of our normal media research process,' said Miller. He also pointed out that Apple continues to run ads in both publications.

True or not, the story highlighted Apple's recent legal efforts to block rumor-related Web sites and reminded the public of its reportedly aggressive PR tactics.





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