Now the founders are drifting away and the current management, which has bought into a slice of the company, has been the subject of unsettling speculation (Hugh Cameron, the joint managing director, was close to bailing out to take a job with Coca-Cola).
Yet Cameron and his fellow joint MD, Tom Vick, are experienced executives in a market too thin on talent. And, no doubt, DFGW carries a rather cheaper price-tag than in its heyday.
There is little doubt that the agency needs a resuscitation plan and the talks with Lowe (page 1) provide a potential lifeline. The two agencies share General Motors business - though both are vulnerable on the account - and Lowe needs planning and management talent.
Ultimately, though, this seems like a do-or-die option for DFGW rather than an imperative strategy for growth at Lowe.