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Apple turns up its advertising push with plans for 1,000-person internal agency

Nicole Lee, @nicole

Few companies have had advertising campaigns as iconic as Apple's -- from the infamous 1984 ad to the more recent PC vs. Mac commercials -- but there's a general perception that the outfit's latest efforts haven't been quite as impactful. Even Phil Schiller, Apple's Senior VP of Global Marketing, admitted in a private email (revealed as part of a recent patent lawsuit) that Samsung has been beating it in the marketing game. However, it appears that the folks over at Cupertino are attempting to recapture some of that marketing mojo by building out its own in-house agency. In fact, according to Ad Age, it's already staffed the internal group with big names from some of the top advertising companies in the country and hopes to eventually fill out the department with as many as 1,000 people.

That doesn't mean it's cutting out outside agencies altogether, however. Indeed, it's still collaborating with long-time cohort TBWA/Media Arts Labs -- the firm behind most of those iconic ads -- on its advertising projects. But instead of just letting them handle all the creative decisions, Apple is actively pitting TBWA/MAL against this internal agency in order to get the best ideas, which is a relatively controversial method in advertising circles. It's even invited other advertising firms to join in on the pitching process to make it even more competitive. According to Ad Age's sources, this competition has existed for awhile, but has grown even fiercer in recent months as the in-house agency seems to be winning more often than not. It remains to be seen if Apple can ever regain the glory of its past campaigns with this recent push, but as the competition heats up, it probably behooves the fruit company to think differently.

[Image credit: Getty Images]

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