John Lewis to award £13m brief to Lowe

Lowe beats two to creative task as retailer prepares for planning and buying review.

Lowe London is poised to snatch the £13 million John Lewis account after a three-way pitch.

The incumbent, Burkitt DDB, is understood to have been told its repitch was unsuccessful. Lowe and Delaney Lund Knox Warren & Partners, meanwhile, both have meetings slated for 6 July, when they will be officially informed of the final decision.

A media planning and buying pitch is expected to begin in the next couple of weeks, as Burkitt DDB also handled John Lewis' media planning.

Naked, which helped Lowe with its pitch, is likely to be included in the review, as is OMD, which handles media buying. A list of agencies is expected to be put together by the end of this month.

The John Lewis marketing director, Andrew Woodward, and the commercial director, Brendan Sweeney, led the creative pitch, which was overseen by the AAR.

A John Lewis spokeswoman refused to confirm Lowe's appointment and said: "We cannot say anything until everything has been signed, sealed and delivered."

WCRS was involved in the pitch at an earlier stage, but pulled out three weeks ago, with Debbie Klein, the agency's chief executive, citing "different ways of working" as the reason.

The account loss is a blow to Burkitt DDB, which has worked on the accounts for John Lewis Stores, Peter Jones and the company's credit card for the past ten years. It created the company's first brand campaign.

In 2003, it also created the company's first television commercial. The work compared images from nature with products sold in John Lewis stores.

- Comment, page 48.