TBWA/Media Arts Lab’s Lee Clow hands over Apple Inc. ad account reins to Duncan Milner

“Lee Clow has stepped down as chief creative officer of TBWA/Media Arts Lab, which has handled TBWA’s longtime client Apple. At 66, Mr. Clow is relinquishing the creative lead on an account that has distinguished his storied career,” Kunur Patel reports for AdAge.

“Duncan Milner, executive creative director on Apple and a TBWA alum since 1990, has been tapped to fill the role at Media Arts. Mr. Clow will remain chairman and global director of Media Arts Lab and chief creative of the TBWA network,” Patel reports. “Media Arts Lab was founded in 2006 to serve Apple, as well as embody Mr. Clow’s vision of a new type of ad agency that makes culture, rather than just commercials.”

Patel reports, “In his more than 40 years in advertising, he is best known for his work for Apple, which includes what many have called the best commercial of all time, ‘1984,’ that launched the Macintosh computer; [the famous ‘Think Different’ campaign]; the now iconic dancing silhouettes for the iPod; and the more recent ‘Mac vs. PC’ campaign featuring actors John Hodgman and Justin Long.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Congrats to Mr. Milner and good luck – you’ve got one tough act to follow!


  1. I assume that, like at Apple, there are several talented people there. But, if this guy made the final decisions and had the guiding vision creating them, they were great and he helped to raise the Apple’s name above the rest.

    Keep in mind, even after seeing the ads, Microsoft can’t copy them like they do the OS X!

    Well done Mr. Clow!

  2. iPhoner, I agree. They could keep the Mac vs PC but instead of hammering what’s wrong with windows all the time, more emphasis on the ways Apple is so far superior in performance and user experience.

  3. Just like with SPJ, you all overestimate the singular effect of one individual, rather than the collective efforts of an extremely talented system.

    The transition is not new, and no – none of you noticed.

  4. @Ogre

    Never underestimate the powert of an individual.

    Apple didn’t. It was the entire basis of the Think Different campaign.

    Individuals (human beings) are the most important aspect of any “system.” A “system” itself (meaning any “system” that is people-centric [social/economic] and regardless of what the “system” is) has no inherent value what-so-ever. “Systems” come and they go, they change and/or disappear altogether.

    Which is why almost all economic/social system-isms are such frauds. They are to economics and social order, like creationism is to evolution and science. Emotionally-oriented nonsense that doesn’t work.

  5. @Jersey_Trader: actually MS has copied the ads in exactly the same manner in which they copied the Mac OS… poorly and without one iota of comprehension of the underlying principals which make the originals work so well.

  6. @leodavinci

    My point was not to discredit the individual contribution of Lee, he certainly deserves all the praise he’s received and is an invaluable resource to all of TBWA – it was to highlight that while reported today, this actually took place months ago…

    And again, no one noticed, nor would you have thought to, had this article not been published.

    So yes, there are extremely talented people at all levels, but sometimes we’re apt to place too much weight at the few at the top, while there’s an entire support system (comprised of brilliant INDIVIDUALS) who’re fueling the creative process at the various stages of media development.

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