School Reports 2013: DLKW Lowe


Score: 6  Last year: 5

Last year, we challenged DLKW Lowe to come out with more conviction in 2012 – and the agency, reinvigorated by the creative leadership provided by the executive creative directors, Dave Henderson and Richard Denney, didn’t let us down.

Few can have failed to miss the creative revival that emanated from Sloane Street – hot on the heels of the beautiful brand film for Halfords, the hits just kept on coming. RAF Reserves, Trainline and Morrisons (which may not have been to everyone’s taste) all received a noticeable creative overhaul. This wasn’t the DLKW Lowe of old (or even the sum of its component parts). This was an agency that was up for the fight.

New business, which had also been a problem in recent times, was also less of an issue – true, big wins were few and far between, but DLKW Lowe got itself on pitchlists and the intermediaries appeared to have noticed the new confidence from the agency. While Coral (and Kiddicare, which was acquired by Morrisons) were the domestic wins, the end of the year saw a huge vote of confidence when the agency picked up the Persil brief from Bartle Bogle Hegarty as part of a global consolidation of the brand’s account. This single win will have mitigated the pain felt by the departure of the SCA brand Tena, which left the agency as part of a similar global rethink.

All in all, DLKW Lowe can look back on 2012 with some satisfaction – it is producing good creative work, awards are coming through (it was the only UK agency to win a gold Lion in the Mobile category at Cannes) and the wheels of the new-business function are finally turning. More momentum in the latter should see a further improvement in its score next year.

Type of agency Integrated creative advertising
Company ownership Interpublic (Lowe & Partners)
Key personnel Tom Knox joint chief executive
Richard Warren joint chief executive
Richard Denney joint executive creative director
Dave Henderson joint executive creative director
Nielsen billings 2012 £178m
Nielsen billings 2011 £192m
Declared income £28.8m
Total accounts at year end 46
Accounts won 3 (biggest: Persil)
Accounts lost 0
Number of staff 220 (+1%)

Score key: 9 Outstanding 8 Excellent 7 Good 6 Satisfactory 5 Adequate 4 Below average 3 Poor 2 A year to forget 1 Survival in question

How DLKW Lowe rates itself: 6

"The creative department revolution started to pay dividends with fresh new work for Halfords, and Morrisons. We were delighted with a Gold Lion and Gold at The IPA Effectiveness Awards. Our offering expanded through investment and heavyweight hires in our shopper marketing division: Lowe Open. We won Coral and ended on a high with the Persil win; great for London and the network. We’re hungry for more good work and new business in 2013."