The Wall St. Journal technology blog, “digit,” posted commentary yesterday about the ongoing feud between Adobe’s Flash product and Apple. ( This is an instance of companies competing over technology standards, prompted by new product capabilities (in this case, the proprietary Apple software running iPhones and iPads) and the ever evolving Internet. What’s interesting about this debate is the tactic that Adobe has used to draw attention–an advertising campaign. This is not unique in and of itself, however, the company has put itself front and center in the spotlight and resulted in a more public “back and forth” from the PR teams at the two companies. Yesterday’s blog post was updated today with a comment from the Apple PR spokesperson who confirmed the company is a supporter of open Web standards, unlike the Adobe Flash product. It seems Apple is correct, according to the W3 consortium that sets web standards. The consortium has officially endorsed HTML5 as an open web standard, which may eliminate the need for the Adobe Flash product. So, it’s a war of words, if you will.


17 thoughts on “When Your Ad Campaign Makes News

  1. The key phrase in this whole debate is this: EVER EVOLVING Internet. That sums up what the latest issue is and what the compatibility issues are for Apple products using Adobe software. The article is clear to say that the issues are not just Apple issues, they are issues in the PC/Microsoft world as well. From a public relations perspective, this probably isn’t the best of timing for Apple to be taking the stance they are. It seems that they have had some other PR challenges lately that have made them appear a little bit on the “do what we say” side of communication. This never fairs well in a somewhat free society we live in.

    1. I agree with the “do what we say” side of communication. Apple has always been that way. I remember seeing an interview about Apples product development, featuring none other Stave Jobs. In this interview Jobs made a disturbing statement. He said “the consumer does not know what they want, it is our job to tell them what they want.” At first I thought this was a fairly egotistical statement, but the more I thought I realized he was right. I know how computers work to a great extent, but there are many products and services under development that are useful, but still something that I never thought of. This is just an explanation of why Apple may be communicating in such a way. While this is their usual style of communication, I think they have gone a little too far this time. Before Apple was a smaller company that did not have the “power” they have now. It will be interesting to see how it all plays out.

      1. I agree. These issues are basically everywhere in the computing world, and will be for a long time. I feel like Apple did a good job in defending itself.

        As for Steve Jobs’ comment on them having to tell us what we as consumers want…isn’t that how marketing works? A product or service is offered and it’s up to the marketers to make the consumer believe that they want or need it. As for the computer, yes I do need it because I need to be able to work on homework when I’m not at school.

    2. I agree Steve! The internet in always evolving and always will be. People need to realize this fact and come to terms with it. Steve Jobs is a smart man and there are good reasons behind why he makes the decisions he does. Apple has done a good job at coming to a conclusion and sticking to it. Consumers may not realize these facts but will over time.

  2. Consumers don’t want Flash – they want the content it displays. Another medium with similar content would be fine as long as people get their video & game fix. Which is why JavaScript, HTML5, etc. will do fine. As for the lack of Flash bringing down Apple as some have ludicrously suggested, the iPhone & iPod Touch have never had Flash, and they’re both doing pretty well the last time I checked. So if you want Flash, don’t buy an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. No one’s forcing you. Just as Apple is free to build their machines the way they want, and Adobe is free to develop Flash the way it wants.

    1. Although I agree with you, Adobe is freaking out because if people are beginning to have the same mindset – Flash will be a thing of the past and that means a lack of profits for them. Aside from Photoshop and Reader, I don’t know what else Adobe has going for them? The saying, “out with the old and in with the new” definitely reminds me of what’s going on here. I’m sure Adobe knows very well that technology is rapidly evolving, they just need to come up with something new and revolutionizing.

    2. I agree if you are looking for flash you shouldn’t bye apple, buy something else. I do however find it pretty interesting to read that flash might not even be needed after the development of HTML5.

    3. Exactly most users don’t really give attention to what type of app that is causing this file to work. The limitation by Adobe is a right for the company to build a long term strategy for its existence. Technology nowadays feels like it develop it self day by day. The concept of a flash player sooner or later might no longer exist and it is the right of the company to save it business level strategy.

    4. I agree, Apple has done fine and is doing fine without conforming to the majority of the market out there. For years they have come out with cutting edge technology that can only make the competitors jealous of the aesthetics and ease with in which they run. Just like the commercials, there are Mac people and PC people, I am a Mac person myself and I for see them taking over the world some day.

  3. I remember learning how to add Flash content to web pages in high school. At the time is was a fairly new technology. However that was several years ago. The internet technology is changing at a very fast rate. Depending on who you talk to Flash is obsolete. It is time to move on to bigger and better things. Users are expecting more and more from their internet and computer experience. Apple realizes this and does what is necessary to stay in tune with the market. Apple has not said that it will not support any of Adobe products, it is just the belief of Apple that it is time for Adobe to move on.

    1. I agree that technology is an ever-changing thing and we tend to blow right past new technology to something even better. I’ll admit that it really bums me out when I go to some website on my Iphone and can’t get to a section because it’s using flash, but other than that I’m perfectly fine with my Apple products and definitely enjoying my phone/online experience.

      1. It can be annoying when a website uses flash, I too have had to get use to not being able to use flash on my Mac, but it wouldn’t make me not buy another one. I just think that there should be something compatible to everybody’s hard wear no matter Mac or PC. There should be a general standard when it comes to the internet, that way everybody can do what they need to do and not be prohibited due to some compatibility issue.

  4. I agree that Apple is responsible and in charge of what features or apps, etc. they’ll have on their iphone, ipad and such. If adobe can’t get Apple to take on their business then they should simple build their own as they’ve done and add their Flash component to it. Apple has done just fine without it and can choose whatever feature that fancies them.

  5. Adobe cant get mad at apple for not using them to run internent software. I cant remember who said it but somewhere up there I saw the words “EVER EVOLVING” internet. This is a true statement. Apple is know for creating and manufacturing their own platforms and in no way is this debacle a reason for Adobe to be mad.

  6. As a user of Apple’s iPhone and iTouch, it can certainly be frustrating when I stumble upon websites that require Flash. While I understand Apple’s decision not to support this feature, I am confident that the company soon enough will develop a form of technology that will address this problem. Without a doubt, just reflecting on its numerous inventions and the way Apple has revolutionized the technological world in the past decade, I look forward to seeing what Apple will come up with next.

  7. I agree with some of the commenters, in that this back and fourth about Flash is an ever evolving issue, but at any point in an argument, all you can do is state facts. Many times Apple has asked adobe to produce a version of flash that does consume an enormous amount of battery life, to which they have not been able to do so…

    Furthermore, many android phones that promised to play flash, have only a beta version installed on the phone, and from numerous reviews on such phones, and reports, the battery life when viewing flash content is just abysmal. Flash is an excellent standard, just not in terms of battery life.

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