Interpublic Group of Companies' Lowe Lintas & Partners is dropping 'Lintas' from its name and is adopting 'Lowe' as its global identity. While no formal announcement regarding this has been made in India, Lintas brass in the country is fairly certain the name change will happen sooner than later. "Lowe Lintas & Partners will be rechristened Lowe in India in keeping with the global name change," confirmed Preet Bedi, director, Lowe Lintas & Partners. While Bedi was unwilling to put a timeframe to it, he said it is safe to say the name change will happen next year in India.
An email message from IPG's New York office to agencyfaqs!, quoted John J. Dooner, Jr, chairman and CEO of Interpublic, as saying, "Frank Lowe is one of the legendary creative leaders in our business and the global stature of the agency is a testament to that. We are pleased to introduce Lowe as the new agency name and equally pleased that Frank wants to turn more of his extraordinary creative vision and energy toward Lowe." However, his office refused to comment on how events would unfold in India.
To put things into perspective, the Interpublic Group of Companies recently announced that Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide, the world's fifth largest global advertising agency, would be renamed Lowe Worldwide in honour of the agency founder Sir Frank Lowe. The new name becomes official in January 2002.
The rebranding, following years of mergers and name changes, marks the end of the line for a name that dates to 1929, when Lever Brothers set up a house agency under the name Lever International Advertising Service, or Lintas. The agency Lowe, on the other hand, was founded by Frank Lowe in London in 1981, with five people in two rooms, billings of US$15 million, and the ambition to build a Top 10 global agency with effective, high-quality creative advertising. It was in October 1999 that the original Lowe & Partners network merged with its ailing stablemate Ammirati Puris Lintas to form Lowe Lintas.
That move was designed to enhance the respective strengths of two agencies which had hitherto lagged some way behind big sister McCann-Erickson, but the Lintas name continued drag the agency down and it was finally decided to phase it out in 2001.
Meanwhile, Interpublic spent the late nineties engaged in an ongoing battle with Omnicom for the title of the world's No 1 advertising organisation. In the end, both companies were leapfrogged by WPP. Having merged its Lowe and Ammirati Puris Lintas networks to form Lowe Lintas, IPG spent 2000 on the lookout for a third string to add to its bow. The group found it in FCB Worldwide; Interpublic agreed to acquire FCB's parent True North in March 2001. However, for 2000 Advertising Age ranked Interpublic as the No 3 ad organisation worldwide with gross income of $5.6 bn on billings of $54.8 bn.
Alongside, Advertising Age ranked Lowe Lintas (excluding specialised marketing subsidiaries) as the No 15 agency network worldwide in 2000 with gross income of $782 mn on billings of $5.8 bn. Today, Lowe Lintas is ranked fifth among worldwide agency groups (adding in its numerous diversified agencies), with billings of over US$12 billion, offices in 80 plus countries, 14,700 employees and an enviable reputation for building powerful brands through outstanding creative work.
© 2001 agencyfaqs!