Lowe shocked as UDV moves account to JWT

The Lowe Group was reeling this week after UDV, one of its key global clients, fired the agency from its roster and shifted its Smirnoff, Malibu and Baileys brands to J. Walter Thompson around the world. The business is worth pounds 13.5 million in the UK alone.

The Lowe Group was reeling this week after UDV, one of its key

global clients, fired the agency from its roster and shifted its

Smirnoff, Malibu and Baileys brands to J. Walter Thompson around the

world. The business is worth pounds 13.5 million in the UK alone.



For JWT, the win came in the same week that the network landed the

global Elizabeth Arden account, estimated to be worth pounds 60 million,

but in London lost the pounds 18 million Barclays UK account (see story

below).



UDV’s decision took the Lowe Group by surprise. Tim Lindsay, the

European president of Lowe & Partners, was particularly close to the

business.



He said: ’We are shocked and baffled. We are extremely proud of the work

we’ve done for UDV over the past seven years.’



UDV had been extending its relationship with the Lowe network, handing

it more new business as late as last month, when it moved the Baileys

account in Australia to Lowe Hunt & Partners. The same agency won the

Smirnoff account in January.



Cost is understood to be one of the issues leading to the review, which

has also stripped the Lowe Group’s media arm, Western, of its remaining

UDV planning business. All UDV planning will now be handled by

Carat.



However, observers are united in saying that it is JWT’s efficient

client service that won it the creative business.



UDV’s chief executive, Jack Keenan, said: ’Lowe has played a central

part in the strong performance of Smirnoff, Baileys and Malibu and we

are grateful for its support.’



JWT has strong links with UDV. Ivan Menezes, the global marketing

director who handed JWT the J&B business 18 months ago, worked with the

agency when he was with Guinness, and Keenan worked with JWT when he was

at Kraft.



JWT’s Elizabeth Arden win follows a decision by the brand’s parent,

Unilever, to outsource creative advertising. Previous ads, starring the

model, Amber Valetta, have been developed in-house.



The network hopes that the win will not clash with its Coty-owned Rimmel

client. Elizabeth Arden will be run globally out of New York, while

Rimmel is handled by the London office.



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