Lowe exits CDF in headhunter row

Lowe Howard-Spink has pulled out of the Creative Directors Forum following a row about slashing headhunters’ fees.

Lowe Howard-Spink has pulled out of the Creative Directors Forum

following a row about slashing headhunters’ fees.



Tim Lindsay, Lowes’ chief executive, outlined his concerns about the

CDF’s latest action in a letter circulated to Graham Hinton, president

of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, and the industry’s

three top creative headhunters. Tim Delaney, who chairs the CDF, said

last week that members should pay only 10 per cent commission to

creative headhunters (Campaign, 16 May).



Lindsay said: ’We reluctantly feel that we have to dissociate ourselves

from the CDF. This agency is perfectly capable of negotiating

satisfactory financial arrangements without the help of an

unrepresentative group of people who anyway seem to have a hazy grasp of

commercial realities.’



Lindsay, however, insisted that Paul Weinberger, the agency’s joint

chairman and executive creative director, was ’still supportive of the

original creative aims’ of the CDF, but he added: ’These seem to have

been submerged by the attacks on other parts of our community.’



Lowes’ decision to pull out of the CDF raises questions about its

authority.



Hinton is keen to formalise the forum within the IPA. He said: ’We need

to have creative directors’ views represented within the IPA. Tim

(Delaney) has managed to address an important issue about controlling

costs. However, I think the treatment of the headhunters was

discourteous and is not how we should be seen to be behaving.’



He added: ’The CDF is an informal group but it is now behaving like it

has a remit as part of a formalised relationship with the IPA.’



Delaney responded: ’Everything we are doing is about change. Not

everyone wants to embrace it which is their prerogative.’



Several high-profile creative directors have joined Lowes in declining

to sign the manifesto drafted by Delaney. These include John Bacon,

FCB’s creative director and Robert Campbell, the Rainey Kelly Campbell

Roalfe creative partner.



Bacon argued: ’While account management and media headhunters are being

paid a similar rate, cutting creative headhunters’ commission carries

the implication that creative people are worth less.’



Live Issue, page 14.



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