303 MullenLowe, the local outpost of what is now MullenLowe Group, is one of Australia's leading creative agencies, with offices in Sydney and Perth. It was formed in 2011 from the merger of the former Lowe Hunt agency with Perth-based independent 303 advertising, under the latter's management team. It evolved from 303Lowe to 303 MullenLowe in 2017, along with the rest of the old Lowe network, and has also added other MullenLowe Group skills to its offering, including media unit Mediahub. In 2018 it also launched its own PR and social media unit, Creature. Lowe took its first steps into Australia in 1999, when Frank Lowe persuaded Lionel Hunt - Australia's most awarded creative director and co-founder of The Campaign Palace - to head up a local joint venture agency. Hunt led that business successfully for ten years until retirement in 2008, after which the agency suffered a sharp downturn. Interpublic bolstered performance three years later by negotiating a reverse takeover of the business by indie 303, originally launched out in Perth by former DDB Australia CEO Nick Cleaver, who had seized the opportunity to take advantage of Western Australia's then-booming economy in the late 1990s. The 303 management team, led by Cleaver, took over control of the merged agency. Bert Pawlak and Richard Berney are executive creative directors of Sydney and Perth respectively. In 2021, Interpublic agreed to sell majority ownership of 303 MullenLowe to New Zealand-based marketing group Attivo. See also the Adbrands profile of the main MullenLowe Worldwide network.
Capsule checked 2nd June 2021
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Adbrands Daily Update 2nd Jun 2021: Interpublic announced plans to sell majority control of 303 MullenLowe to New Zealand marketing group Attivo. It will also sell Attivo a minority stake in the Asia Pacific operations of MullenLowe's Mediahub media agency. Both agencies will continue to operate as part of their resepctive global networks. Interpublic previously sold full ownership of McCann Australia to local partner Hero Corp. Several other regional offices of Interpublic agencies are also operated or controlled by local partners or licensees.
Adbrands Social Media 6th Oct 2018: "Insurance Solved". There's a complete change of direction from Australia's 303 MullenLowe for local insurer Budget Direct. Daredevil driver Captain Risky has been dropped after four years in favour of a new character, quirky but brilliant police detective "Sarge". There's also a noticeable hike in the production budget as Sarge investigates a series of mysterious Ghostbuster-style psychic occurrences. It all looks great, but actually it's not as funny as it should be, and the punchline - the real mystery is why anyone would pay more than they need to for insurance - is a bit of a letdown. Still, a few more gags and this concept could run and run. Perhaps the actual mystery is why they blew the whole budget on one long super ad, instead of spread out the occurrences over a series of separate films.
Adbrands Weekly Update 7th Jan 2016: Ads of the Week: "Jumping The Double Helix Divide". Captain Risky rides again! This character - the invention of agency 303 Lowe for insurer Budget Direct - is rapidly turning into one of Australia's best-loved brand mascots. Jumping the double helix divide is a great stunt: good luck with that, mate.
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