TBWA\Worldwide announced today that Brent Anderson will be leading the Apple business as chief creative officer of the dedicated TBWA\Media Arts Lab unit. This marks the first change atop the account in 16 years.
Duncan Milner, who has been creative lead on Apple since the founding of Media Arts Lab in 2000 and ascended to the CCO role in 2009, will now assume a new role as global chief creative president. He will work on unnamed domestic and international accounts and take on a greater share of responsibility at MAL\FOR GOOD, the purpose-driven marketing arm of Lee Clow's organization. But he will no longer work on Apple.
"Nothing is more important than giving trajectory and growth opportunities to individuals who have earned it through their work, vision and leadership," says TBWA\Worldwide president and CEO Troy Ruhanen in a statement. "Brent is an exceptional talent, a natural leader, and will drive the kind of disruptive, culture-defining work that is worthy of the world's most iconic brand."
Anderson was promoted to chief creative officer at TBWA\Chiat\Day's Los Angeles office in June, and he takes over the account at a time of significant change for Media Arts Lab as Apple recalibrates its digital marketing work.
Presidents Erica Hoholick of TBWA\Media Arts Lab and Erin Riley of TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles will remain in their roles, as Los Angeles creative chairman Stephen Butler seeks a replacement for Anderson. The agency characterizes Anderson's new role as evidence of his success within the larger TBWA organization, which recently turned in its most successful Cannes Lions performance in more than six years.
Apple hired former Grey chief creative officer Tor Myhren as its new vice president of marketing communications last December, and his appointment preceded a string of executive-level changes at the tech giant's dedicated ad agency.
In the early months of 2016, Media Arts Lab's founding partner/executive creative director, global chief strategy officer and worldwide managing director each departed. The organization quickly named a new strategy lead, ecd and director of integration, but all three had departed less than six months later and have yet to be replaced.
A source tells Adweek that Apple and TBWA agreed on plans to take the company's future marketing efforts in a different direction without providing further detail. Other sources claim that Myhren has gradually worked to make Apple a more open organization and that this principle also applies to its advertising partners, as TBWA\Chiat\Day and Media Arts Lab more actively collaborate across campuses despite the fact that they remain two separate and distinctive organizations.
MAL\FOR GOOD launched last year as an embodiment of Lee Clow's dedication to social movements around the world. The L.A.-based unit collaborates with various global TBWA offices, and Milner's appointment signifies the larger network's dedication to expanding the MAL\FOR GOOD footprint by working with more companies that aspire to facilitate change in the interest of the common good.
"Having Duncan at the creative helm of MAL\FOR GOOD is a testament to the importance of this practice within TBWA," says Ruhanen. "Duncan will be able to pull from his vast experience to do very important and disruptive work on some of the biggest issues facing the world today."