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(May 21, 2001) -- Frank Lowe, chairman and CEO of Interpublic Group of Cos.' The Lowe Group and its Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide agency, is passing his role as CEO of Lowe Lintas on to the agency's president, Jerry Judge.

"As chairman, I will continue to work closely with Jerry, but will hand over some of the responsibilities that are involved in the day to day running of a network that is at least twice the size it was a year and a half ago," Mr. Lowe said in a statement. "This will enable me to spend more time with clients and, most importantly, help to ensure that our creative product is second to none."

Lowe Lintas, which was formed in 1999 when Lowe & Partners merged with Ammirati Puris Lintas, has seen its business suffer during the transition. In the U.S., from November 1999 to February 2001, Lowe Lintas had lost an estimated $910 million in billings -- nearly half the U.S. billings it had had when the two agencies combined. It also gained about $454 million during that period, for a net U.S. billings loss of $456 million. Worldwide, the agency had billings of $5.76 billion in 2000, according to Advertising Age figures.

Mr. Lowe also serves as head of Interpublic's sports marketing agency Octagon, and a member of the holding company's board. He recently signed a five-year contract with the company.

Mr. Judge will relocate from London to New York when he takes on the new duties this summer. -- Laura Hughes

Copyright May 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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