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Apple apologizes for iPad 'Crush' ad after backlash

Apple said it won't air the iPad 'Crush' ad on television as planned
Apple said it won't air the iPad 'Crush' ad on television as planned.

Apple apologized on Thursday after an ad for its latest-edition iPad caused an uproar for showing an industrial press crushing objects linked to human creativity, infuriating artists.

Social media users immediately criticized the ad, which was posted on X by Apple CEO Tim Cook, as painfully tone-deaf at a time when the creative community is worried about its future with the emergence of generative AI.

"Creativity is in our DNA at Apple, and it's incredibly important to us to design products that empower creatives all over the world," Apple's vice president of marketing Tor Myhren told Ad Age.

"Our goal is to always celebrate the myriad of ways users express themselves and bring their ideas to life through iPad. We missed the mark with this video, and we're sorry."

The company also said it won't air the ad on television as planned.

Set to the song "All I ever need is you" by Sonny and Cher, the one-minute ad titled "Crush" sees the pile of creative artifacts—including a guitar, piano and paint cans—explode under the pressure of Apple's press.

At the end, the press pulls back and reveals Apple's latest tablet, the iPad Pro, touted as ultra-thin.

"The destruction of the human experience. Courtesy of Silicon Valley," wrote actor Hugh Grant on X in response to Cook's tweet.

Hollywood director Reed Morano urged Cook to "read the room," calling the ad "psychotic."

The ad harked to viral TikTok videos of industrial presses and other machines that are watched by millions on the platform.

Many critics said the ad betrayed Apple's iconic 1984 commercial that launched the first Mac computer and depicted the company as a hammer-throwing rebel against a monolith big brother.

The ad comes as ChatGPT and Dall-E creator OpenAI, as well as other AI giants, are facing lawsuits from artists and publishers saying that their material was used to train AI models without permission.

© 2024 AFP

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