Apple apologises for its controversial iPad Pro ad

By Samantha Delouya, CNN

Apple has apologised and admitted it “missed the mark” with its latest iPad Pro advertisement.

The ad, posted on social media on Tuesday by Apple CEO Tim Cook, was met with backlash from internet users who felt that the ad celebrated technology’s destruction of human creativity and art.

In a statement to AdAge, Apple’s vice president of marketing communications, Tor Myhren, apologised.

“Creativity is in our DNA at Apple, and it’s incredibly important to us to design products that empower creatives all over the world. Our goal is to always celebrate the myriad of ways users express themselves and bring their ideas to life through iPad,” Myhren said. “We missed the mark with this video, and we’re sorry.”

Apple confirmed the statement it provided to AdAge but declined to provide further comment.

The ad shows symbols of human creativity, like musical instruments, paint cans, an ’80s arcade video game and a bust of a human head crushed by a giant hydraulic press. As the metal slabs of the hydraulic press lift, Apple’s new iPad Pro is revealed.

“Meet the new iPad Pro: the thinnest product we’ve ever created, the most advanced display we’ve ever produced, with the incredible power of the M4 chip. Just imagine all the things it’ll be used to create,” Cook wrote in a post on X accompanying the video.

Internet backlash to the ad was instantaneous: “The symbolism of indiscriminately crushing beautiful creative tools is an interesting choice,” wrote one social media user. “This ad effectively convinced me I need less technology in my life,” wrote another.

Other users said the ad was in poor taste amid growing fears that AI could replace workers – even those in creative fields. Actor Hugh Grant wrote on social media that Apple’s ad represented “the destruction of the human experience.”

Apple no longer plans to run the ad on TV, according to AdAge.

The mea culpa was rare for Apple, though the ad has not been deleted from Cook’s X account.