After an unexplained absence, Apple products have officially returned to NBC’s The Office, which wrapped up its seventh season last night.
Apple gear was prominently seen and mentioned during the show’s earlier seasons. In 2005, for example, former boss Michael Scott (played by Steve Carell) gifted a then-cutting-edge 5th generation iPod Classic (“video iPod”).
But as of late, HP replaced Apple for “promotional consideration”, as evidenced by the closing credits. Apple products continued to appear on occasion, but only discretely, the logo always obscured.
In fact, in a recent episode in which pseudo office manager Pam buys an iMac for reception, the Apple logo on the back was digitally erased. “This is a sick computer. Gwen Stefani has this computer,” says Office drone Andy Bernard (Ed Helms) of the incognito iMac.
In a deleted scene released online later, the logo is clearly visible, suggesting that it was removed from the aired show to accommodate HP which, unlike Apple, pays for its products to appear in various media.
(In 2006, the Washington Post reported that “Apple does not pay for product placement and would not discuss how its products make their way into television and films.”)
Clearly, Cupertino and the show’s producers moved to rectify the situation and bring Apple back to Dunder Mifflin. In yesterday’s season finale (scene pictured), a fully-lit Macbook Pro appeared several times, logo and all.