Lee Clow Reflects on Steve Jobs' Passing in Memo to TBWA

Agency Exec Was Apple Leader's Colleague, Friend Since the '80s

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Colleagues, Friends: Apple's Steve Jobs (l.) and TBWA's Lee Clow, circa 1984.
Colleagues, Friends: Apple's Steve Jobs (l.) and TBWA's Lee Clow, circa 1984.

Creative guru Lee Clow was responsible, along with Steve Hayden, for creating the legendary "1984" ad that launched the Apple Macintosh computer, and for decades was a trusted adviser on ad matters to Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple who yesterday lost a battle to cancer.

This afternoon, Mr. Clow sent out a memo expressing his thoughts on Mr. Jobs' passing to the entire staff of Omnicom Group-owned TBWA, the parent of Media Arts Lab, the agency dedicated to working solely on Apple. It's written in signature Clow style, in a manner reminiscent of the iconic "Crazy Ones" spot that he rendered to announce the return of Mr. Jobs to Apple back in 1997.

Some readers have asked Ad Age why Mr. Clow hasn't commented sooner about the passing of his colleague. But it makes sense if you, well, think different. Mr. Jobs was much more than a client -- he became, over years of collaborating on billboards, and TV spots and packaging, and weekly meetings -- a dear friend. Understandably, Mr. Clow is said to be highly emotional over the loss. It was what most any creative would call a dream working relationship, and friendship.

Here's his note:

From: "Lee Clow"
Date: October 6, 2011
Subject: Steve Jobs

As you all know by now, yesterday we lost Steve Jobs.

He was the most amazing person I have ever known.

He was a genius.

He was an innovator.

He was the best client we ever had.

He was my friend.

To work with him, to share his vision, to share his passion, to be trusted by him with his ideas, is one of the great honors that we all have been able to share.

We who worked with him every day will miss him.

We who worked for him but never met him will miss him.

We who work for TBWA but never worked on Apple will miss him.

What Steve Jobs did was simply make everything and everyone better.

I will miss him.


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