Lowe Howard-Spink will cease to operate in the UK as a full-service
agency from the start of 1997, it was finally confirmed this week.
Its new operation, which it will launch in partnership with Initiative
Media and Western Media International, will roll out across Europe
country by country, with a target completion date of December 1998.
The network, to be called Western International Media, Europe, will
function as a standalone sister operation alongside Initiative.
Mike Smallwood, the European media director of the Lowe Group, will be
its chief executive and sit on a European board, also including Michael
Kassan, the president and chief operating officer of Western
International Media, USA, and Marie-Jose Forissier, the worldwide
chairman and chief executive of Initiative.
The announcement ends more than a year of speculation after it was first
revealed that Lowes was planning to hive off its media operation
(Campaign, 8 December 1995).
Clients for Western will come from all three partners and Lowes will
move all of its existing media business into the agency.
Initiative will use Western in Europe as a second-string agency network
responsible for handling conflicting business and Western will introduce
US clients seeking a media operation in Europe.
Smallwood commented: ‘We’re creating a brand built on successful media
values, with two of the world’s largest media companies as our
The three partners in the venture will be looking, wherever possible, to
merge their backroom operations, such as administration and finance, as
well as exploiting areas where the three can leverage their combined
forces to the benefit of their clients.