Apple PR: Block and Tackle

November 16, 2007

So, a lot of people have sent us this video in the last 24 hours, and you may have seen it circulating like wild fire across the net. Basically UK reporter Benjamin Cohen from Channel 4 News began to ask questions about iTunes being a “monopoly” during an interview in which he was only cleared to talk about iPhone. Call in the flacks!

Personally, we agree with Peter Himler’s take:

What’s surprising is that the executive in question, Phil Schiller, Apple Senior Vice President of Worldwide Product Marketing (pictured), looked like a deer in the headlights when the reporter asked him about the iPod and iTunes duopoly. I mean is this a question that hasn’t come up previously?

No matter. When it did, he simply gave his handlers the “gee I didn’t expect this” look, a signal for them to physically insert themselves between himself and the inquiring journalist.

Phil, a simple acknowledgment and lighthearted quip like “Sure. iPod and iTunes have the dominant market share because those that use them love them. They’re simply great products. And sure, they go together like peanut butter and jelly.”

Clearly, your PR staff could have armed you with something better than, “give us the nod and we’ll give him the boot!”

What do you think? Could Apple PR have done a better job?

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7 Responses to “Apple PR: Block and Tackle”


  1. […] You can read the rest of this blog post by going to the original source, here […]

  2. Louis Wheeler Says:

    It is absurd to speak of iTunes as being a monopoly.

    The reporter was confusing successful and proprietary for monopoly. In any case, a product or service can have a high market share without exhibiting any tendency toward a monopoly’s high prices and poor services.

    Many other products use proprietary inputs: Microsoft’s Zune, for instance.

  3. Rich Jones Says:

    Monopoly? What a stupid question to ask. Sorry, iTunes and iPod are not a monopoly in the strictest sense of the word.

  4. the purveyor Says:

    This is an odd little flare up. Why would Apple’s PR team put the kibosh on this thing? Still, the idea of Apple having any sort of “monopoly” in the computing space is the height of hilarity. iTunes is a free download. Why would anyone with an iPod want to use alternate software to purchase music digitally when the iPod ships with iTunes baked in? And why would anyone with an iPhone want to use a different service to upload music to their device when the compatible software is blissfully free and easy enough for a monkey to use?

  5. Steve Says:

    great music site for the iphone http://seeqpod.net/iphone

  6. jezeb Says:

    sorry but all this is so stupid monopoly? Huh, why I would want choose something else if I’m happy with itunes and my ipod. Why? Tell me? Do I want use another service where things fall apart? they have problem. All my couple years using itunes/ipod never had any issues.

    If you want be negative about something why dont you go somewhere else maybe Microsoft? Zune?

    This is so first grade…


  7. Could Apple have done better? The better question is “How could they have done worse?” First, it appears reporter due diligence was lacking. Second, as Himler points out, doesn’t look like they did a good job preparing Schiller.

    (That said, I can understand Schiller looking a bit spooked — I didn’t see this as a “deer in the headlights” look but rather a look that said “who is this idiot and why did my communications team let him in here with a camera?”)

    And then there was the ham-handed way in which the man in the green sweater tried to “manage” the reporter. Not very artful.

    Having said ALL that, let’s face it … the reporter was being an asshole.

    It is very hard to artfully deal with assholes.


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