Mercedes pulls $100 million ad account from Lowe/SMS

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DaimlerChrysler's Mercedes-Benz of North America, Montvale, N.J., pulled its $100 million account, as expected, from Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe & Partners/SMS, New York, effective April 30. Lowe has handled the account since 1993. Executives at Mercedes cited problems with Lowe's management, as well as the potential conflicts with General Motors Corp.'s business at sister Interpublic shops. "We expressed concerns with the business process and creative process in spring," said Mercedes-Benz President-CEO Mike Jackson, adding that Mercedes experienced "increased level of concern throughout the course of the year." Lowe has had some high-level turnover in the past year, including the departures of Exec VP Bob Jeffrey and New York President Bob Kantor and the retirement of Co-Chairman Marvin Sloves. Lowe responded in a statement that it was "appalled" Mercedes would pull its account. Executives at the car marketer said they will begin discussions with True North Communications, Chicago, and Omnicom Group, New York, both of which own DaimlerChrysler roster agencies, to evaluate the possibilities of moving the account to a TN or Omnicom agency. Those executives added there is a "possibility of a full-blown review."

Copyright February 1999, Crain Communications Inc.

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