LOWE & PARTNERS

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The interactive approach at Lowe & Partners/SMS is extremely guarded.

There is no mandated interactive group. Alan Jurmain, executive director-media services, is the overall media point person, and he is decidedly skeptical about the early interactive hoopla.

"For the most part, when clients see the facts and limited size of the tests, they realize interactive is far away, but there's still this urge not to want to miss the boat," Mr. Jurmain said. "We tell clients they haven't really missed it yet."

One agency group put together a presentation on interactive marketing that some clients have seen, but Lowe and client Marriott International's Courtyard by Marriott were disappointed by a Prodigy effort created and discontinued in the last year.

"I'm not sure that our expectations were so great, but whatever we set as a benchmark for inquiries fell short," Mr. Jurmain said. "The systems aren't developed enough to create that kind of critical mass on any meaningful level."

Still, he acknowledges that client Mercedes-Benz of North America lends itself "to deeper immersion into online" applications.

Mr. Jurmain said the agency, a unit of the Lowe Group and Interpublic Group of Cos., wants "to stay front and center, but we don't think every client needs to be a guinea pig."

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