|Photo: Dave M. Benett|
The lineup of partners, which already includes Mr. Lowe; former Lowe London Chairman Paul Weinberger; and ex- DDB London CEO Paul Hammersley, is almost certain to include Ed Morris, currently executive creative director of Lowe London. Mr. Morris did not return calls for comment.
Last month Mr. Lowe stunned the ad industry with the news that he was starting his own London shop two years after retiring from Interpublic Group of Cos., parent company of Lowe worldwide, and had nabbed his former agency’s biggest U.K. account, the $85 million Tesco supermarket chain at Lowe London.
Also likely to join Mr. Lowe are Mark Cadman, the managing director of WPP Group's JWT London, and David Hackworthy, chief strategic officer of the London office of Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide and a close friend and longtime colleague of Mr. Hammersley. The two men did not return calls, but an executive familiar with the situation said Mr. Lowe has made Mr. Cadman an offer that will be very difficult to refuse. Mr. Cadman is believed to have delayed his departure from JWT to see if new Chairman Toby Hoare would offer him the vacant London CEO job.
Likely to issue release
Mr. Lowe, who has been keeping a low profile, is likely to make the announcements via press release rather than a personal appearance. His spokeswoman declined to confirm the new partners but said an announcement will be made next week.
The new agency, still unnamed, has to open its doors by March 1, the date it officially takes over the Tesco account. Many of the Lowe London team working on Tesco are expected to shift to the new agency to continue working on the business. The new agency needs a Tesco team, and the move would spare Lowe London costly layoffs.