Seems to be a brand at Apple in review

Steve’s breakdown: This review has already started so we hope you have an “in” with the client if you want “in” on the pitch.

SANTA MONICA, CA: Beats by Dre, the luxury headphone company launched by Dr. Dre and purchased by Apple for a mere $3 billion in 2014, is looking for a new agency partner.

According to parties close to the business, the company is in the middle of a formal review.

This follows news, reported by Adweek in January, that Beats would be taking more of its marketing work in-house. Most of the ads released since then, like this World Cup spot directed by Guy Ritchie and the below ad starring LeBron James, included only production credits.

At the time the story ran in January, Anomaly CEO Carl Johnson said his agency had “decided to take a breather from executing work with Beats” after a particularly intense stretch that saw them set up an office in L.A. primarily dedicated to handling the business.

The client has since stopped working with that agency entirely.

The precise scope of the review is unclear at this time, though sources indicate that midsize L.A. independent agency Zambezi is one of the competitors and that the brand is not seeking a new agency of record relationship.

The business itself is moving along at a healthy pace. In the last two months, Beats has signed new sponsorship deals with the NBA and the Philadelphia 76ers.

Estimates of its annual paid media spend vary widely; Kantar Media has Beats putting $20 million toward marketing in the U.S. last year, while consultancy R3 said the global total could be as high as $100 million.

An Apple spokesperson declined to comment. Representatives for Zambezi have not responded to related emails.

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