Lowe buys stake in Singapore agency

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LONDON -- The Lowe Group is taking a majority shareholding in Singapore agency Monsoon Advertising, which will now be renamed Lowe & Partners/Monsoon. This follows Lowe's other recent moves into Southeast Asia: its entry into Greater China last year with Hong Kong's Lowe & Partners/Live and the merger of Lowe agency Enterprise with Nexus Equity in India.

Monsoon's clients include Mercedes-Benz, Sanyo, Singapore Telecom and ACER Computer International and the agency claims billings of $12m for 1996. The full-service agency with a staff of 32 was established in 1993.

Following the partnership, Lowe & Partners/Monsoon will continue to be run by the existing management under Managing Director and founding partner Christopher Foo.

Despite having attracted the attention of many multi- national ad agencies, Foo says Monsoon made the decision to go with Lowe because of the fact that Lowe "has built an extremely successful business by putting great creative advertising first."

Frank Lowe, Lowe's chairman and founder, says: "We certainly don't view Asia as one amorphous mass and believe we have found the very best local expertise in three key Asia-Pacific regions."

Singapore has the highest ad expenditure per capita in Asia, outside Japan, and showed an increase of 8% in 1996, according to Lowe figures. The Singapore ad market is worth around $1.14bn.

Lowe now has agencies in 32 countries worldwide. Its major multi-national clients include General Motors (Europe), Mercedes-Benz (North America), the Coca-Cola Company and Henkel.

Copyright March 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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