DRAFT, LOWE LIVE MERGE ANOTHER OFFICE

London Is Latest Setting in Ongoing Consolidation

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe Live, London, will merge with sibling DraftWorldwide, the companies announced today.

The relationship-marketing unit of Lowe & Partners Worldwide will be renamed DraftWorldwide London and will join with Draft's existing U.K. operations to form DraftWorldwide U.K., continuing an integration effort that began in the U.S. last fall. The agencies are part of Interpublic's Partnership silo.

Began in October
The merger process began

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in October, just five months after the debut of the Lowe Live network. The move was seen as a way to exploit the siblings' complementary locations. Although Lowe Live's global presence was significantly smaller than Draft's, it had outposts in cities including San Francisco and London, where Draft previously did not have full-service agencies.

The San Francisco office, however, closed earlier this year, due to the local market's economic conditions, a Draft spokeswoman said. Draft and Lowe also merged services in New York, where Draft has recently ramped up its promotional operations following its win of Sara Lee Corp.'s coffee and tea division.

270 employees
DraftWorldwide U.K. will employ 270 people, including 100 from Lowe Live's London office, 50 from Draft's London-based research outpost, 60 from Draft's office in Oxford and 60 from Draft's operation in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The U.K. organization will be led by four managing partners: Lowe Live's Tony Watson, Ian Taylor and Nick Young, as well as Sez Maxted, of DraftWorldwide, Oxford.

In other news, DraftWorldwide's Chicago office hired two executives to service the Devry University account, which the shop won in April. Craig Pollock, 43, previously creative director at Long, Haymes, Carr in Winston-Salem, N.C., joins as creative director. Robert Nuich, 39, previously print production manager on the Devry business at Chicago-based Brown Marketing Communications, becomes production manager at Draft.

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