NEW YORK: Apple is taking more of its marketing and advertising in-house in a move that chimes with wider trends, although in this case the focus appears to be on creative strategy rather than the increased popularity of clients doing their own programmatic ad buying.

Advertising Age related how Apple is currently building a 1,000-strong internal agency and seeking to recruit staff from its existing agency partner at the same time as it is asking the two to explore the best creative ideas.

Prudential Advertising, the in-house agency of the financial services giant, has successfully embraced such an approach, mixing in-house and external agencies to good effect. Colin McConnell, vp/head of advertising at Prudential Financial, explained to the In-House Agency Forum last year how the company had embraced the creative tensions that resulted from the differing business models and processes.

On further inquiry, however, Advertising Age found that Apple may not be the attraction it once was. As one agency executive approached about a job there commented: "The revolution has come and gone, and I'm not sure a job at Apple would be a creative opportunity."

For this individual there were more interesting brand-side companies he would prefer to work for, including Coke or Pepsi.

A separate issue is the growth of programmatic buying which an increasing number of in-house teams are opting to use themselves, so avoiding agency fees and keeping control of their data. The Wall Street Journal reported that one ad tech firm, Casale Media, had seen the proportion of internal marketers using its buying systems almost triple from 3% to 11% during 2013.

Transparency is also an issue here – the Association of National Advertisers found that 46% of marketers had concerns about how agencies were spending their money.

Data sourced from Advertising Age, Wall Street Journal; additional content by Warc staffData sourced from