NEWS: Lowes hives off media to new Western brand

Lowe Howard-Spink will cease to operate in the UK as a full-service agency from the start of 1997, it was finally confirmed this week.

Lowe Howard-Spink will cease to operate in the UK as a full-service

agency from the start of 1997, it was finally confirmed this week.



Its new operation, which it will launch in partnership with Initiative

Media and Western Media International, will roll out across Europe

country by country, with a target completion date of December 1998.



The network, to be called Western International Media, Europe, will

function as a standalone sister operation alongside Initiative.



Mike Smallwood, the European media director of the Lowe Group, will be

its chief executive and sit on a European board, also including Michael

Kassan, the president and chief operating officer of Western

International Media, USA, and Marie-Jose Forissier, the worldwide

chairman and chief executive of Initiative.



The announcement ends more than a year of speculation after it was first

revealed that Lowes was planning to hive off its media operation

(Campaign, 8 December 1995).



Clients for Western will come from all three partners and Lowes will

move all of its existing media business into the agency.



Initiative will use Western in Europe as a second-string agency network

responsible for handling conflicting business and Western will introduce

US clients seeking a media operation in Europe.



Smallwood commented: ‘We’re creating a brand built on successful media

values, with two of the world’s largest media companies as our

partners.’



The three partners in the venture will be looking, wherever possible, to

merge their backroom operations, such as administration and finance, as

well as exploiting areas where the three can leverage their combined

forces to the benefit of their clients.



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