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May, 2024

Apple’s ‘destructive’ iPad Pro ad sparks controversy, forces apology

Apple’s latest ad for its iPad Pro, which depicts a variety of creative tools being crushed by a hydraulic press, has sparked controversy and criticism from various quarters. The ad, released last week, features the destruction of pianos, trumpets, metronomes, paint, sculptures, pinball machines, desks, screens, and books. High-profile critics include actor Hugh Grant and Hollywood creator Justine Bateman, who accused Apple of insensitivity to the creative community. Grant described the ad as the “destruction of the human experience. Courtesy of Silicon Valley” while Bateman stated, “Tech and AI means to destroy the arts and society in general. This is not making things better. This is just making some people insanely wealthy at the expense of all of us.”

In response to the backlash, Apple issued an apology, with VP of marketing communications, Tor Myhren, stating, “We missed the mark with this video and we’re really sorry.” The company plans to discontinue running the ad, which was initially rolled out on Apple’s YouTube and CEO Tim Cook’s X account on 8 May. Plans for a TV campaign using the creative from the ad have also been scrapped.

Despite the criticism, some defended the ad. Aqtos founder Damjan Dano argued, “I call this BS. The industry became over-sensitive for nonsense like this.” An X user, Takuta, expressed sadness at seeing creative tools destroyed but also acknowledged Apple’s courage in admitting its mistake, hoping others would have the courage to accept the apology too.