Lowe sheds Website design unit after it fails to make profit

Lowe Howard-Spink has closed its new-media unit, Lowe Digital, and plans to relaunch it as a strategic consultancy.

Lowe Howard-Spink has closed its new-media unit, Lowe Digital, and

plans to relaunch it as a strategic consultancy.



Within the next few weeks, Lowes expects to appoint a new head of

digital who will be charged with building from scratch a unit with a

strategic focus - dropping the previous focus on design and production

capabilities.



Lowe Digital has failed to make a profit in the highly competitive Web

design market. The unit - launched in 1994 - has in the past been

responsible for designing sites for the likes of Braun and Vauxhall,

whose Euro 96 football site was one of the most acclaimed sites of that

year. However, in recent months Lowe Digital has attracted little new

business.



Tim Lindsay, the chief executive of Lowes, said: ’This move is

twofold.



We want both the flexibility to draw on a wider pool of implementers,

which will include Web production companies, and to create more business

for ourselves by getting involved at an earlier stage.’



He added: ’Although we will build sites in-house, we don’t see our

business developing along those lines and we do not think having those

facilities in-house is crucial.’



The closure, which was announced to staff on Monday, is effective

immediately.



It means the departure of three of Lowe Digital’s five staff. Two staff

on the account management side are to be re-employed elsewhere in the

agency.



Deborah Loth, the Lowe Digital creative director, is leaving but may

work with Lowes on a consultancy basis in the future.



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