Between the Lines: Lowe's new trouble is ironic

What cruel irony that while a supremely self-confident Tesco reports Christmas sales en route to breaking the £2 billion profits barrier, its agency, Lowe, is beset by turmoil (page 1). But then Lowe, to plagiarise Winston Churchill, is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.

And Tesco work forms only part of what is one of the best reels in London, a laudible feat given Lowe's difficulties over the past year.

Out of all this confusion, made worse by last week's badly timed announcement of Garry Lace's hiring, it is to be hoped some lessons have been learned.

Not least by Tony Wright, whose inexperience as a network head has been laid bare by last week's events. The worldwide president's visit this week is several days too late. Staff rightly felt frightened by the staff cull Lace carried out at Grey. Wright should have been there to reassure them, but he should also have been more sensitive to the impact of Lace's appointment on key senior staff.

And the other big hope? That Lace has acquired some humility.