Apple faces backlash over recent ads

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Apple is currently facing significant public backlash due to a controversial advertisement featuring a hydraulic press crushing various creative tools, including musical instruments and books. The advert, intended to illustrate the compression of creativity into the latest iPad, has sparked outrage among celebrities and the general public alike.

The ad’s imagery of destruction has been met with horror from figures such as Hugh Grant and Justine Bateman, who have publicly criticized the message as harmful to the perception of technology’s role in supporting the arts. Hugh Grant described the advert as representing “the destruction of the human experience, courtesy of Silicon Valley,” while Justine Bateman referred to it as “crushing the arts.”

The backlash has been amplified by concerns within the creative industries about the potential for artificial intelligence to displace human jobs. Crispin Hunt, a multi-platinum selling songwriter, likened the destruction of musical instruments in the advert to the act of burning books.

Critics on social media, particularly those in Japan, have expressed dismay, citing the concept of “tsukumogami” from Japanese folklore, which imbues tools with spirits or souls. The advert’s approach has been seen as disrespectful and offensive, with many calling it “extremely distasteful” and expressing embarrassment about supporting Apple products.

This adverse reaction stands in stark contrast to one of Apple’s most iconic advertisements from 1984, which championed individuality and resistance against a dystopian regime. The current ad has been criticized for seemingly opposing the very values Apple once stood for, with one user noting it as a “visual and metaphorical bookend” to the company’s earlier, more celebrated work.

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