Dropped Ad Agency Goes Out in Style, Thanks Apple

Associated Press

When a company changes ad agencies, it’s often a messy affair for both the company and the jilted agency. But Chiat-Day, ousted earlier this week by Apple Computer, is taking an upbeat view of its nearly seven-year relationship with the computer company.

In full-page advertisements Thursday that cost about $40,000 in the New York Times, the San Jose Mercury-News and the trade journal Advertising Age, Los Angeles-based Chiat-Day said: “Thanks, Apple.”

“Thanks for letting us make a little history. Thanks for demanding our best, and then more than our best. And thanks most of all for actually running our best, year after challenging year,” it said.

Among the ads that Chiat-Day created for Apple was the award-winning “1984" commercial broadcast during the 1984 Super Bowl football game to introduce the company’s Macintosh computers. It also created “Lemmings,” which appeared on the 1985 Super Bowl broadcast and showed blindfolded business executives in slavish devotion to past procedures following each other off a cliff.


“You’ve done for us what VW did for Doyle Dane Bernbach, what Hathaway did for Ogilvy & Mather, what McDonald’s did for Needham, Harper & Steers,” Chiat’s ad said.

Jay Chiat, chairman of the ad agency and creative director of its New York office, said that meant Apple had given Chiat-Day a “national presence” that helped it attract other clients.

Apple announced Tuesday that it had decided to switch to Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborne, also known as BBDO, for its domestic advertising. Chiat-Day and BBDO had been competing for 2 1/2 months for the assignment, which industry sources estimate will amount to about $50 million in billings. An ad agency generally gets 15% of billings.

Bruce Mowery, Apple’s U.S. manager of advertising and promotion, said Apple picked BBDO because its “strategic thinking and creative approach seemed to be most appropriate for the direction” that the company plans to take in its second decade.


Chiat said: “I think the work we did speaks for itself. We are leaving without any resentment, without hostility and without anger.