APPLE CUTS U.S. AD STAFF IN HALF AS FOCUS NARROWS ROMAN GAINS RESPONSIBILITIES; OLIVO EXITS WORLDWIDE POST

By Published on .

Apple Computer is slicing its U.S. advertising and communications staff in half and refocusing a shrunken $150 million ad budget as a new global marketing strategy and massive corporate job cuts take hold.

Apple has consolidated communications for its corporate, product and Americas marketing groups, eliminating about 50 jobs last week.

ROMAN RISES

David Roman, formerly VP-corporate advertising and brand marketing, will lead the streamlined group of fewer than 50 ad and marketing communications staffers. Mr. Roman reports to Guerrino De Luca, a veteran Apple executive who was named exec VP-marketing in February, when Apple consolidated global marketing.

Mr. Roman, named VP-advertising and brand marketing, said Apple hasn't determined how the reorganization affects communications in European and Asia/Pacific regions.

"We still have to work on how to integrate things around the world," he said.

Apple has eliminated the job of Allen Olivo, the Paris-based director of worldwide corporate advertising. Mr. Olivo said he is exploring other posts at Apple and looking at opportunities elsewhere.

The communications posts eliminated are among the 4,100 jobs Apple in mid-March announced it would cut, slashing 30% of the staff to get the company back into the black.

The marketing consolidation allowed Apple to eliminate redundant posts. But it's also changing priorities: Apple, for example, jettisoned a group responsible for running live "Webcasts" of major events.

Apple's annualized global ad spending has fallen to an estimated $150 million, from $180 million last fall.

MEDIA SPENDING INCREASE

Mr. Roman said media spending could increase in coming months as Apple re-evaluates how to allocate communications money.

"We should see an increase in the amount of money spent on straight media," he said. "I hope that we go that way. We feel strongly that this is a time for Apple to come back with a big bang."

Mr. Roman's stature has grown in the reorganization. Mr. De Luca is mostly staying out of advertising, leaving the function to Mr. Roman. He oversees global corporate ads, all North American work and Apple's Web site.

In the reorganization, Apple created two key posts. Ann Winkler, former acting director of corporate advertising, becomes director of mass-media advertising, overseeing "broad reach" efforts. Marie Moore, former Apple Americas manager of advertising and direct marketing, is now director of Apple user advertising/communications.

Ms. Moore's charge is to use traditional media, direct marketing and the Internet to communicate to the 27 million Apple owners and 50 million users.

Apple, in its often successful drives to win over new Mac users, many times has overlooked its biggest allies.

"We feel that is something that we have not done well," Mr. Roman acknowledged. "We have sort of neglected them in the past."

Mr. Roman believes the streamlined structure will make it easier for his global agency, BBDO Worldwide, Los Angeles, to deal with Apple.

"It just creates a simpler way to prioritize the communications projects that we are running," he said. "From BBDO's standpoint, it probably just creates a simpler environment for them to work with in that they have fewer clients" inside Apple.

In this article:
Most Popular