The World: Suspended CEO of Lowe London quits

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[london] Lowe London is searching for a new CEO following the departure last week of Garry Lace, who had been suspended since March while Interpublic Group of Cos. investigated allegations that Mr. Lace held discussions with Frank Lowe about joining Red Brick Road, Mr. Lowe's new London agency. Mr. Lowe emerged from retirement in December 2005 with the surprise announcement that he was not only starting a new agency but taking Lowe London's biggest account, the $90 million Tesco supermarket business.

Interpublic's brief statement last week did not reference the investigation or suspected discussions with Mr. Lowe. The company simply confirmed his resignation and stated, "Neither the company nor Garry Lace will be making any further statement in respect of his resignation and have agreed that beyond what is said above, the matter is confidential."

Since Mr. Lace's suspension, his duties had been absorbed by Lowe Worldwide Chairman Tony Wright and the agency's managing director, Chris Hunton. Steve Gatfield, Lowe Worldwide's CEO, has been making regular trips to London. The agency's new U.K. CEO is expected to come from outside the agency. Conversations have begun with candidates, but no appointment is imminent, an executive said.

Mr. Lace is no stranger to controversy. He joined Grey London in 2002 as CEO to relaunch the agency and build a new management team. In 2004 a hoax e-mail, which claimed Mr. Lace was quitting Grey to start his own business, flew around the London ad community. The allegations were never proved, but he left the agency soon after and joined Lowe in 2005.

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Omnicom's Stream expands beyond Europe

[london] Omnicom Group's branded-entertainment vehicle, Stream, is expanding beyond Europe for the first time to create StreamAsia Pacific. Stream began in the U.K. in 2001 as a TBWA offshoot and already accounts for 10% of TBWA London's income. Its clients include PlayStation, Orange, Adidas and Eurostar. The company now also works with Omnicom's other two major networks, DDB Worldwide and BBDO Worldwide, and is believed to be considering opening a U.S. office. Stream has expanded rapidly in Europe, opening seven new offices last year in France, Germany, Finland and other markets.

Georgie Summerhayes, CEO of Stream, will move to Sydney to head up the Asia Pacific region as president of StreamInternational. "The region is very hot and briefs have already been coming to us directly from the region," she said. "Brands are adopting entertainment as a serious part of their communications mix on a global scale."

Ms. Summerhayes has worked in the U.K. for 17 years, mostly in the music industry including a stint with pop impresario Simon Fuller. "We have a very clear proposition for clients," she said. "We create entertainment properties for brands. We have a lot of non-advertising people on board, and we can deliver creatively as well as strategically."

Recent Stream projects include the creation of downloadable content for Sony PSP and a soccer event for Adidas to promote the brand's World Cup positioning. The event was broadcast on U.K. terrestrial TV and then adapted for distribution online and on cellphones.

-emma hall

MTV broadband hits South Korea market

[seoul, south korea] Viacom has launched its sixth MTV-branded broadband network, MTV Boombox, in South Korea, the world's most developed broadband market. Created in collaboration with Korean multimedia developer Wizmax, the on-demand, video-based music and entertainment platform starts rolling out this month.

Nigel Robbins, president, Asia/Pacific for MTV Networks, Singapore, said that Korea's advanced technology lets MTV deliver its content in new ways and will set the tone for the company's digital growth in Asia. The entertainment destination can be accessed through broadband as well as mobile devices. Content includes local and international MTV programming and music video and audio downloads. Along with full episodes of original programming, such as "TRL Seoul," MTV Boombox will also feature video clips from global MTV shows like "Laguna Beach" and access to superstar events like the "MTV Asia Awards."

Sponsorship opportunities for marketers include full streams of TV spots, and exclusive sponsored content not available on the free-to-access sections.

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sca, a scandinavian paper-products marketer and Procter & Gamble rival, appointed Scholz & Friends, Berlin, to handle the $30 million European budget for Zewa, a brand of toilet paper, paper towels and facial tissues. The agency pitched against incumbent BBDO, Vienna; FCB, Hamburg; and KNSK, minority-owned by BBDO, Hamburg.
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