LOWE LOSES HOLD ON DIESEL'S $30 MIL ACC'T: ANOTHER CHANGE IN STRATEGY ENDS ITS AWARD-WINNING 11-MONTH RUN

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Diesel's collaboration with Lowe Howard-Spink has come to an end, 11 months after the Italian jeans marketer awarded the London agency the bulk of its $30 million worldwide ad account.

The international clothing marketer said the decision was made because "Diesel is now moving to a new and different direction and will need its communication strategy to change accordingly."

22 SHOPS IN PREVIOUS REVIEW

Last September, after a six-month review that involved 22 agencies, Diesel moved all of the account, except some minor TV business, from longtime agency Paradiset DDB Needham Worldwide, Stockholm.

The Swedish agency's ironic, irreverent advertising helped Diesel's sales mushroom from $4 million in 1985 to $325 million in 1996.

Halfway through the review, two of Paradiset's Diesel ads won the Grand Prix at the International Advertising Festival in Cannes.

Diesel moved the account to Lowe because it changed its communications strategy from brand campaigns to more product-oriented ads. Lowe held the account for both the spring/summer and the fall/winter '98 product campaigns, encompassing two Diesel fashion lines.

Those ads won Silver Lions for print this year in Cannes.

Diesel is about to present its new fashion line, Diesel Style Lab, with marketing developed by the company's in-house creative team. In addition, it will continue to reinforce its brand campaign, still handled by Paradiset, while adding a product message to it.

BIGGER IN-HOUSE ROLE

"Lowe Howard-Spink's work has been very high-profile and in line with our company's philosophy. We are now moving into a new direction with Diesel Style Lab, whose communication requires a new creative strategy that will have to generate inside the company with an even bigger involvement of our [in-house] creative team," said Maurizio Marchiori, Diesel's advertising and communications director.

Diesel said it is "hoping to be able to work together" with Lowe "in the near future."

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