Orange rethinks as Lowe resigns

Lowe has resigned its £43 million Orange business after struggling to meet the company's demand for cut-through advertising and having lost senior managers who were key to the account.

The telecoms giant is currently hunting for a new creative shop after Lowe conceded that it was not providing the continuity necessary for a successful relationship.

Chris Thomas, the Lowe chief executive, said: "There was only one honourable thing we could do which was right for our clients and right for the agency."

The final straw came with the resignation last week of Sarah Gold, the board account director with day-to-day responsibility for Orange. She is to join Clemmow Hornby Inge where she will have an equity stake.

Charles Inge, the former Lowe executive creative director and currently a partner of CHI, was one of the team which successfully scooped the business for Lowe two years ago. The others were Gold, Paul Hammersley, now the chief executive of Lowe in New York, and Alison Hoad, who later joined the Campbell Doyle Dye start-up.

Jeremy Dale, Orange's newly appointed brand marketing director, denied Lowe had been under notice on the business but admitted that the agency was under pressure to refresh and reinvigorate the brand.

"We had agreed a demanding programme of work but there was still plenty of time for Lowe to deliver it, Dale said.

"I was surprised when the agency offered its resignation but it has behaved very honourably and put a lot of effort into our business."

Orange is currently talking to agencies before drawing up a pitchlist.

Dale would not comment on possible contenders although industry sources expect them to include Mother, Dale's agency when he was at ITV Digital, CHI and WCRS, which launched the Orange brand in the 90s.

Bartle Bogle Hegarty, which last month lost its £27 million UK T-Mobile account to Saatchi & Saatchi, is thought to be another strong contender for the business.

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