MullenLowe Group - as the former Lowe & Partners was renamed in 2015 - is the smallest of three global advertising networks within marketing giant Interpublic. Lowe has been the subject of a string of restructurings in recent years in an attempt to bolster chronically patchy performance. Despite often brilliant creative work, Lowe has traditionally had difficulty in the past hanging onto key global clients other than its longtime partner Unilever. The network's troubles arguably began in late 1999 when the original Lowe & Partners agency merged with 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 phased out in 2001. Other realignments followed, often with limited noticeable improvement. Lowe's New York outpost was folded in 2009 into Interpublic stablemate Deutsch, which became the North American arm of the worldwide network. The struggling London office merged the following year with indie DLKW to form DLKW Lowe. Though these measures appeared finally to have returned greater stability to the network, there was another reshuffle in 2013 when Campbell Ewald replaced Deutsch as its US representative; then again two years later when Campbell Ewald was replaced by Mullen. Digital network Profero was acquired in 2014, as well as German agency GGH.
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|MullenLowe Open||MullenLowe Profero|
|MullenLowe USA||303 MullenLowe Australia|
|MullenLowe London||Lowe Roche Canada|
|MullenLowe Strateus France||GGH MullenLowe|
|Ponce Buenos Aires||MullenLowe China|
|Borghi/MullenLowe Brazil||MullenLowe Brindfors Sweden|
Adbrands Weekly Update 6th Apr 2017: Did somebody put Viagra in the water coolers at MullenLowe? It's rare enough for that Interpublic-owned agency to make a single appearance in the week's new business listings, but three notable wins - including the week's two biggest - is practically unheard-of. This week, MullenLowe captured the E*Trade account in the US from R/GA as well as AksoNobel's global decorative paints portfolio, including Dulux, from BBH. This morning it added Mini in South Africa to complete the hat-trick. Meanwhile, global creative chairman Jose Miguel Solokoff will add the title of chief creative officer for the London outpost, still the network's main international hub.
Adbrands Weekly Update 28th Jan 2016: The agency formerly known as Lowe & Partners unveiled the global rollout of its new identity as MullenLowe Group. Several shops had already adopted the new name but this marks the overhaul of the entire network. All agencies adopt the MullenLowe name; only a handful retain local tags, including what are now 303MullenLowe in Australia, GGH Mullen Lowe in Germany. Separately this week, MullenLowe London picked up a prestigious brief from the Bank of England to launch the country's new plasticated banknotes later this year.
Adbrands Weekly Update 17th Dec 2015: Ads of the Week "Candide Thovex". For some real edge-of-the-seat suspense, take a look at this staggering film for Audi France from Lowe Strateus. Skiing a black run is challenging at the best of times; how about if it doesn't have any snow on it? French champion Candide Thovex manages the almost impossible to symbolise just how rugged Audi's quattro technology can be. That sound you hear is the noise your jaw makes when it hits the ground.
Adbrands Weekly Update 28th May 2015: Ads Of The Week: "Anagram Lovers". Every week we wait patiently for one of those clever ads that combines humour and intelligence with visual style, all underpinned by a brilliant idea. Often we wait in vain, but occasionally a spot like this comes along. It's a new ad from Lowe's - oops - Mullen Lowe's Lola Madrid unit for Mattel's Scrabble board game and it's close to perfect. Pure class.
Adbrands Weekly Update 14th May 2015: Interpublic is making yet another attempt to ramp up its Lowe & Partners network in the US. In the latest of what seems like countless different mergers over the years, standalone agency Mullen is being folded into the business, which will adopt a new identity as Mullen Lowe Group. The last such reboot involved the injection of Campbell Ewald into the Lowe portfolio, but that failed to gel. Lowe Campbell Ewald retains its affiliation but drops the Lowe tag. More significantly perhaps, Lowe's CEO Michael Wall is leaving - to become the first global CEO at Mother! - and the top job goes to Mullen CEO Alex Leikikh. He would be wise to feel some trepidation. Though Lowe retains a certain degree of prestige internationally, especially in Asia and the Latin market, the network has failed repeatedly to establish a lasting presence in the US. Past partners for Lowe in the US include Deutsch, until a divorce in 2013; and before that Bozell, Scali McCabe Sloves and Ammirati Puris Lintas, all of whom vanished without trace into Lowe's US presence prior to the steady defection of their client portfolios. Most recently, the combination with Campbell Ewald was followed by the departure of that agency's Cadillac account. Interpublic managers are clearly hoping that the latest combination will prove the long-awaited charm, but we're not so sure. They would be well-advised to keep a close eye on Mullen's recently won automobile account Acura in case the Cadillac curse strikes again.
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