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Apple Apologizes Following Advertisement Depicting Crushed Musical Instruments

The company's new "Crush" ad video for the iPad was described by Hugh Grant as "the destruction of the human experience courtesy of Silicon Valley"


Apple has issued a statement of apology, after the company received criticism for an iPad advertisement that depicted musical instruments getting crushed. The ad showed an array of creative tools — including instruments,  a camera, and cans of paint — being destroyed in an industrial crusher, thus giving the impression that an iPad was a possible replacement for all of these tools.

The video attracted widespread criticism, with a number of prominent figures commenting negatively. In particular, viewers noted that the video felt inappropriate in the setting of a wider cultural climate in which creative work is being "replaced" by artificial intelligence.

British actor Hugh Grant characterized the advertisement as depicting "the destruction of the human experience courtesy of Silicon Valley." The actor and film-maker Justine Bateman (who has been a vocal critic of the use of AI in the film industry) agreed, adding that Apple's ad was "crushing the arts."

The BBC reported that Japanese consumers found the ad particularly offensive, as it violates the Japanese concept of tsukumogami — in which tools can have their own soul or spirit.

The advertisement is no longer being shown on television.

"Creativity is in our DNA at Apple, and it’s incredibly important to us to design products that empower creatives all over the world," said Tor Myhren, Apple’s VP of marketing communications. "Our goal is to always celebrate the myriad of ways users express themselves and bring their ideas to life through iPad."

"We missed the mark with this video, and we’re sorry."

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