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(May 10, 2001) -- Lowe Lintas & Partners, a division of the Interpublic Group of Cos., will close its San Francisco office effective immediately, the agency's U.S. chairman and chief creative officer, Gary Goldsmith, said in a statement today.

Mr. Goldsmith attributed the shutdown to the "dramatically softening San Francisco-region advertising market and a radical reduction of advertising-related spending and viable new business opportunities in that marketplace."

According to Lowe Lintas, three of its San Francisco-based clients -- ZDNet, Eddie Bauer and InterNAP -- halted their marketing spending within the past eight months.

Agency executives and the shop's remaining active clients -- Disney Quest and Virgin Mobile -- are evaluating whether Interpublic West Coast agencies can take over the accounts.

Buz Sawyer, president and general manager of Lowe Lintas San Francisco, is pursuing other opportunities within Interpublic and outside the agency, a spokesman said. -- Laura Hughes

Copyright May 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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