Adobe Ads Take Aim at Apple

In the latest skirmish between two marketers, Adobe today rolled out print and online ads that take aim at Apple.

Adobe’s “Freedom of Choice” campaign, via Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, addresses a spat between the companies over Flash, an Adobe technology that lets developers add animation, video and other interactive features to their Web sites. Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently said Flash isn’t appropriate for mobile devices and banned it from Apple products like the iPhone and the iPad.

In response, Adobe rolled out a campaign today in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and a dozen or so other newspapers, plus online news sources. The ads sport the headline, “We ♥ Apple,” and goes on to add that “We love creativity,” and “We love flash,” but “What we don’t love is anybody taking away your freedom to choose what you create, how you create it, and what you experience on the Web.”

Ann Lewnes, Adobe’s svp-marketing said the ads were prompted by a desire to set the record straight. “We really felt like we needed to formally state our position,” she said. “What we are saying is with 75 percent of the video on the Web based on Flash, what’s effectively being said to consumers is: ‘We are not going to allow you to view that content.'”

Lewnes said Apple hasn’t responded to the campaign yet. Apple reps could not be reached for comment.

The campaign also includes an open letter from co-founders Chuck Geschke and John Warnock that goes into more detail about the company’s beef with Apple. “We believe that consumers should be able to freely access their favorite content and applications, regardless of what computer they have,” they write. “No company—no matter how big or creative—should dictate what you create, how you create it or how you can experience on the Web.”

Later on in the letter, the co-founders mention Apple by name and cite the company as taking “the opposite approach” to Adobe’s commitment to letting potential competitors make their own Flash applications.

The recession has prompted an uptick in marketers running attack ads against each other. In the past couple of years, Campbell Soup and General Mills have lobbed ads at each other over claims related to their soup lines, while AT&T and Verizon Wireless have traded jabs over claims about their cell phone coverage.

Publish date: May 13, 2010 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT