A little more than two years after he joined Apple as its VP of marcom integration, Ad Age has learned that Nick Law is departing the company, according to multiple people familiar with the matter. In June of 2019, the longtime agency vet announced he would be leaving his post as Publicis Groupe chief creative officer to join the Cupertino, California-based giant.
Ad Age connected with Law, who did not comment on the matter and referred all inquiries to Apple. Ad Age reached out to and left messages with Apple multiple times, but did not receive any response.
The circumstances around Law’s departure are unclear and it remains to be determined if he is leaving for another post.
Law is best known for his 17 year-tenure at Interpublic Group of Cos.’ R/GA, where he ultimately rose to global chief creative officer. Among R/GA’s most famous projects under Law’s watch included Nike+ Fuelband and Beats Music for Beats by Dre.
When Law joined Publicis, it was with a remit to bring his future-facing thinking to the agency network. The company’s CEO Arthur Sadoun noted that following the implementation of the agency’s much-buzzed about AI-powered professional assistant platform Marcel, he had been looking for a creative leader “well-balanced between technology and creativity.” At the time, Sadoun said that he found in Law “somebody who has a strong point of view about the future of creativity.”
Law spent only about 18 months at Publicis. At the time of his departure, he said that going to Apple was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with a brand I’ve admired my whole life.”
Long known as a proponent of approaching marketing and advertising creativity through the lens of modern-day platforms, Law’s move to Apple, a company whose products have largely helped to propel modern communication, seemed fitting.
In doing so, he followed in the footsteps of another agency creative leader, Grey’s former Worldwide Chief Creative Officer and New York President Tor Myhren, who announced his departure from the agency world in 2015 to join Apple as its VP of marketing communications, reporting to CEO Tim Cooke.
Even while at Apple, Law held strong views about how agencies should steel themselves for the future. On the video podcast Transatlantic in February of this year, he said, “This industry is going through a bit of a crisis. The industry is really just in broadest terms a bunch of creative people figuring out how to use media on behalf of companies, and now we’re at this point where media has changed so rapidly and fragmented so much that the industry has sort of retreated to a sentimental idea of what it is, because it’s just too confusing and hard to put your arms around. I don’t think people know what to do, and they don’t have this feeling for the mediums anymore.”
During his tenure at Apple, those close to the matter said Law was closely involved with the work, particularly in social and digital. The company’s most “visible” marketing, however, arguably is the more “traditional” format work such as its long-running “Shot on iPhone” campaign that showcases the product itself through billboards or film, including blockbusters helmed by Hollywood A-Listers. Its continuing retail experiential push, “Today at Apple,” earned a Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions in 2018.