Between the Lines: Let's hope Lowe can buy out

Although Sir Frank Lowe's attempt to help Lowe Worldwide buy itself out of Interpublic may never succeed, it's in the interest of the industry that it does.

Lowe launched what was, in its heyday, one of the greatest creative networks of all time. The strength of its output for Stella Artois, Smirnoff, Tesco and HSBC has been inspirational to the client community at large. Lowe, more than many networks, has kept its creative integrity intact and repeatedly proven that great creative work is a sound investment.

Lowe insiders believe IPG is considering merging the ad agency with its direct marketing sister network, Draft Worldwide. Draft may be profitable, and its eponymous chief may be a significant IPG shareholder, but a merger would risk throwing away everything the Lowe brand stands for.

Lowe's recent business performance has been poor. But if IPG does anything to devalue the network's creative standing, it will be throwing away Lowe's greatest asset. No wonder Sir Frank has been moved to act.