Following Agency Merger, Lowe Campbell Ewald to Open Doors in New York

Interpublic Shop Will Be the Latest to Give the Challenging Big Apple Market a Try

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Following Interpublic Group of Cos.' move in July to merge two of its agency brands, Lowe and Campbell Ewald, the company is opening an office for the unified shop in New York.

The new office is aimed at helping strengthen the U.S. hub for worldwide network Lowe and Partners. It also effectively unties the alignment Lowe had with Deutsch in the U.S. with an experiment that didn't quite pan out.

Sal Taibi, most recently general manager at Deutsch New York, has been tapped to serve as president of Lowe Campbell Ewald's New York office. He will report to Jim Palmer, CEO of Lowe Campbell Ewald. The full-service agency will open in January 2014 -- they are finalizing on an office space now somewhere in Manhattan -- and it will service Cadillac as well as other yet-unnamed clients.

In fact, the merger came in the wake of a coup Interpublic scored when a pitch team made up of Lowe, Campbell Ewald and Hill Holliday won a pitch for General Motors' Cadillac business.

"Lowe Campbell Ewald is an agency with a strong heritage and an integrated full service offering that drives great business results for its clients," said Michael Wall, CEO of Lowe and Partners, in a statement. "Being able to front those capabilities out of New York alongside the existing U.S. locations should prove an attractive proposition for both national and international clients. Sal Taibi is a natural choice to lead New York given his experience in the market, the strength of his client relationships and his intimate knowledge of Lowe."

Said Mr. Palmer in a statement: "Our New York office will bolster our national footprint from coast to coast. With offices in Detroit, Los Angeles, San Antonio and now New York, plus Lowe's international talent and distribution channels, Lowe Campbell Ewald is poised to better help clients navigate the ever-evolving global media and marketing environment."

It will be interesting to watch how this latest experiment for a shop to open in New York, particularly one so influenced by its longstanding culture in Motor City, will fare. Several Detroit-based personnel will make the move to the New York office, Mr. Wall said.

The Big Apple has always been a tough market to crack, and agencies -- with Fallon a famous example of a storied agency that couldn't hack it -- have set up and closed up shop over the years after finding they just couldn't make a presence in the city work. Yet many are continuing to try to build out a New York presence, both for the sake of clients and to attract talent. Among them: Chicago's Leo Burnett, North Carolina's McKinney and San Francisco's Goodby Silverstein & Partners.

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