Advertising Age is reporting that Microsoft has edited one of its Laptop Hunter ads so that it no longer specifically mentions Apple's Mac pricing.
An unnamed Microsoft spokesperson in the story confirms that Microsoft reworked the "Lauren and Sue" ad -- part of a series created by ad agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky -- so that it no longer mentions a Mac costing $2,000.
At the Worldwide Microsoft Partner Conference earlier this month, Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner told attendees that Apple's legal department had called him and complained that Microsoft's ad campaign did not reflect the fact that Apple recently cut prices. Apple officials didn't confirm Turner's story to any media outlets I saw, but the fact Microsoft went to the trouble of editing the commercial does seem to give backing to Turner's account.
Update: A Windows client spokesperson sent me e-mail saying that Microsoft did edit the ad but not because of anything to do with the supposed Apple complaint to Turner. The spokesperson said that Microsoft simply wanted the ad to be accurate and, after Apple dropped the price, the commercial needed to be changed to reflect that fact. Microsoft gave me the same canned statement they gave AdAge:
"We slightly adjusted the ads to reflect the updated pricing of the Mac laptop shown in the TV advertisement. This does not change the focus of the campaign which is to showcase the value and choice of the PC."
One of my ZDNet collegues said he thought Microsoft should use the new (and very vague) numbers released by NPD this week, showing that Apple had cornered the pricey U.S. retail PC market, for a new Windows ad. Something along the lines of... "Apple holds monopoly on expensive PC market."
Hey, Crispin, if you use that, we at ZDNet want a cut....
(Thanks to Winbeta.org for the Ad Age story pointer.)