IPG merges Deutsch and Lowe Worldwide

LONDON - Interpublic Group has confirmed that it is merging its Deutsch and Lowe Worldwide ad agencies, with Deutsch to become the North American hub of the Lowe & Partners global network.

Deutsch will assume management oversight of Lowe operations in North America, including Lowe New York, Lowe Roche Toronto and Lowe Healthcare, under the leadership of Linda Sawyer, who is being named North American chief executive of Deutsch.

Deutsch's New York office will absorb Lowe's New York operations. Val DiFebo, previously president of Deutsch NY, has been named chief executive of the combined Deutsch and Lowe operations in New York.

DiFebo will work alongside Sal Taibi, the Lowe New York president, who has been named partner and general manager of the new Deutsch NY.

Mark Wnek, Lowe NY chairman and chief creative officer, will not join Deutsch. Interpublic said he will instead move to a Lowe Worldwide role, focused on certain key multinational clients.

Lowe Roche and Lowe Healthcare will continue to operate without any change to their current leadership teams and branding. Deutsch LA will also be unaffected, although Eric Hirshberg and Mike Sheldon, current co-presidents of the integrated agency, will now be co-CEOs.

Deutsch will now operate under the name "Deutsch Inc., a Lowe & Partners Company".

Michael Roth, Interpublic's chairman and chief executive, said: "The Lowe turnaround has been an important part of the overall progress made at IPG in recent years.

"The agency had made great strides in reclaiming its place as a global creative powerhouse, it's won major assignments from existing and new multinational clients and, as a result, has reversed revenue declines and significantly improved profitability.

"We've also brought on great talent and added to the agency's leadership with the recent arrival of CEO Michael Wall.

"Deutsch is an agency with a great brand and strong management team, as well as a powerful integrated model. As we looked to the future, we wanted to preserve their unique culture and provide them with opportunities to play on a bigger stage.

"The respective strengths and needs of both companies are clearly complementary, which is what led us to consider this alignment.

"By giving Deutsch the lead role in North America and access to a strong global network, while at the same time bolstering Lowe's standing in the vital US market, we believe we will create a more powerful offering and accelerate our growth."

Donny Deutsch will remain as chairman of Deutsch Inc.

Tony Wright, Lowe Worldwide chairman, said: "Deutsch is an agency with strong brand recognition, a highly effective integrated model and a track history of long-term success.

"We are very excited to formalize the collaborative relationship that our agencies have enjoyed for the past few years.

"The Lowe & Partners network that we are building is predicated on strong local agencies servings as hubs, from which we steward the marketing and communications needs of blue chip clients.

"Deutsch will now serve as one of those hubs, which will result in significant benefits for our existing clients and will also strengthen our ability to attract new global clients."