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Apple culls UK marketing team

Operations to be centralised in Paris

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Apple appears to have embarked on a plan to centralise and amalgamate its numerous European offshoots into a single operation based in Paris. In October, the Mac maker pulled out of the UK's AppleExpo 2000 in favour of the show's French equivalent.

AppleExpo 2000's organiser recently admitted the event had now been cancelled, due to Apple's decision not to participate. And now the company has fired its UK marketing division, with four staff being made redundant and further job cuts in the pipeline, according to an inside source cited by Macworld UK.

UK users are likely to see this as yet another anti-Brit move on the part of Apple US - just like its decision to can the British English version of MacOS 9 in favour of the US English release. But Apple's plan make sense, at least in the new unified, global approach Steve Jobs is taking (apropos of which, who, we wonder, is Big Brother and who the colourful hammer-wielding chick now?). First, there's the increased unification of Europe as a whole - minus the Brits insistent on sitting on the periphery, of course.

Earlier this year, Apple realigned all its European online AppleStore outlets to trade in Euros, paving the way not only for support of the single European currency but ultimately for unified sales tax rates across the continent. AppleStore is already as near as damnit centralised business, operating out of the Netherlands, and Apple's Irish assembly plant provides the entire continent with Power Macs.

Then there's marketing itself. Since Apple US embarked on the original Think Different campaign, Apple UK's role in advertising has been reduced to little more than trotting out US-source ads (the UK wing is probably keen to forget its own lacklustre New Apple campaign). Between that and the participation in shows, you might wonder what Apple UK's marketing department actually did.

Since the latter's not happening now, there's little need for a UK marketing presence - particularly when you factor in the cost savings of centralising any multi-territory operation, and as we all know, Jobs is very keen on cutting costs. We'd be very surprised if other territories' marketing teams aren't scheduled for disassembly, too. Indeed, other localised areas of business, such as support and developer relations, will probably be consolidated too. ®

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