TBWA\ to launch Apple agency

TBWA\ hints at early summer launch for Media Arts Lab London as a 'full-service agency for Apple'.

TBWA\London is preparing to open its Media Arts Lab offshoot in London.

A senior Omnicom source confirmed that the agency is in advanced negotiations for an early summer launch of the full-service shop, which will initially just house the Apple brief.

TBWA\MAL opened in Los Angeles as the brainchild of the chairman and chief creative officer of TBWA\Worldwide, Lee Clow, and the chief executive of Apple, Steve Jobs, last year.

The US agency employs 85 people across all disciplines, including nine OMD staff, who operate as an in-house media planning team.

TBWA\ is understood to have been recruiting in London for a similar set-up.

The agency will focus on media strategy, most likely implementing work created in Los Angeles.

The Omnicom source said. "It's going to be a full-service agency set up for Apple."

A source close to TBWA\ London said that Apple had insisted the agency launch MAL here in order to isolate its account from the Sony PlayStation business.

TBWA\MAL is expected to be located in the Tequila\ London offices. Dan Joseph, a senior TBWA\ planner, is rumoured to be part of the start-up management team.

Last year, Jean-Marie Dru, the TBWA\ president, confirmed that MAL would also look to open an Asian office, again to service the Apple account in the region.

TBWA\ declined to comment as Campaign went to press.