McQuiggan quits as Lowe planning arm absorbed by agency

Lowe is assimilating its LoweBrand operation into the main agency, ending months of speculation about the future of its strategic planning consultancy.

The merger has precipitated the departure of Simon McQuiggan, the former Mirror Group and Interbrew senior marketer, who has quit as the managing director of LoweBrand in order to "explore other opportunities".

The decision to integrate LoweBrand into the planning department was taken by Russ Lidstone, who succeeded Joanna Bamford as the Lowe planning director in September, following a review of the planning function with the agency's chief executive, Matthew Bull.

Lidstone said: "The integration was a simple business decision and a reflection of our desire to strengthen our planning offering."

The changes are in line with the agency's plan to create a beefed-up planning service for a broader range of clients. By offering increased capabilities, including strategic media planning, the agency hopes that it can attract more business from non-Lowe clients and even from those who don't have advertising requirements.