OPINION: Is the Lowe-Lintas deal a blessing in disguise?

So, now the deed is done and Lowe/Lintas is born. And we fully expect it to become a major power in the advertising universe. However, right now there must be a hell of a lot of employees of the newly merged networks wondering apprehensively just what the future has in store for them.

So, now the deed is done and Lowe/Lintas is born. And we fully

expect it to become a major power in the advertising universe. However,

right now there must be a hell of a lot of employees of the newly merged

networks wondering apprehensively just what the future has in store for

them.



It is an unavoidable situation, and must be particularly worrying for

many of the Lintas employees on the receiving end of what is effectively

a takeover. But, to be honest, many Lintas employees must have been

worried about their future anyway. The global network has been drifting

for far too long, with particularly acute problems in the vital New York

and London markets.



At the very least the merger guarantees a greater degree of leadership

than of late. Of course, this will be of little comfort to those Lintas

staffers (particularly senior ones) who will have lost or are about to

lose their jobs, but for the majority this has to be good news.



The Lowe Group may have been on its way to building a network of its

own, but the timescale required - short as it was - had begun to appear

too long term. But at last Lintas can now stop pretending to be another

agency. It was always going to have to seek help, so was probably better

off being forced to do a deal with the devil it knows. At least the

fall-out will be relatively small.



Henkel aside, there appear to be few major international casualties.



A business founded on the rocks of Unilever, General Motors, Diageo,

Nestle and Johnson & Johnson allows for a genuine international network

to flourish in a way that the Lowe and Lintas networks really hadn’t

been able to - for very different reasons.



What will be fascinating is how readily Lintas clients like Unilever and

Burger King embrace the Lowe Group’s creativity. In Unilever’s case the

timing appears to be ideal because of the recent brand cull announcement

and the upping of the creative ante by its rival, Procter & Gamble. The

new agency could be great. The business and the talent are all there

Frank Lowe hasn’t failed much in his advertising career. And at 57, he’s

unlikely to want to start now.



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