Lowe Howard-Spink had an excellent 1996, winning piles of new
business from existing clients and losing just one account.
Last week, the first work from those new accounts hit the Adwatch table,
in the form of Harry Enfield’s ’stroppy teena-ger’ character launching
Pillsbury Toaster Pockets.
While we wait for Dollond & Aitchison’s ’Burt Reynolds’ film to appear,
this week’s chart sees the arrival of the Saab 900 ad, which was
originated by the Lowe Group’s lead Saab agency, Lowe Brindfors, in
Sweden. The London agency’s Saab work will break later this year, as the
latest in a flurry of new campaigns at a busy time for the network,
which has announced a major restructuring.
A dollars 3.6bn (pounds 2.6bn) business, with 73 offices in 32
countries, the Lowe Group has now been split into four regions: Europe,
North America, Latin America and Asia Pacific.
Following the departure of chief executive David Jones to head DMB&B,
the European region will be run by Adrian Holmes and Jerry Judge,
leaving the London agency with a line-up of six.
Last year, the London group created Lowe Direct, set up Western
International Media and formed a new interactive media division, Lowe
Digital. Even with a new senior management and the influence of
’integration’, Lowe’s objectives remain the same: to produce big,
long-term campaigns for mainstream businesses.
Lowe Howard-Spink boasts just 25 clients - the shortest client list in
the top 10. Three-quarters of them have been with the agency for five
years and several have been their for 15 years, since Frank Lowe and
Geoff Howard-Spink rocked Collett Dickenson Pearce (CDP) by leading the
most successful breakaway in history.
Campaigns such as Stella Artois’s ’Reassuringly expensive’, Tesco’s
’Every little helps’ and Smirnoff’s ’Through the bottle’ work reinforce
the agency’s belief in high-quality, long-running ads.
Although hardly recognisable as the CDP breakaway, it still honours
Frank Lowe’s original objective: ’Outstanding advertising costs no more
than bad advertising, but eventually it becomes priceless.’ A glance at
the agency’s reel makes this irrefutable.
Projected billings: pounds 260m
Wins (in the past 12 months): Avis, Whitbread Fuggles, Boston Beer,
Hoegaarden Beer, Pillsbury Toaster Pockets, Labatts, Baileys
International, Saab, Dollond & Aitchison, The Express
Losses (in the past 12 months): Bauer Publishing
Key clients: Vauxhall, Tesco, IDV, Pierre Smirnoff, Whitbread, Lloyds
Bank, Reebok, Weetabix
Key people: Paul Weinberger (chairman and creative director), Tim
Lindsay (chief executive), Paul Hammersley (managing director), Marc
Cave, John Lowery and Richard Jameson (managing partners).