Type of agency: Advertising
Company ownership: Interpublic Group
Key personnel:R Balki, chairman and chief creative officer, Charles Cadell, CEO
Accounts won: Hanes, Godrej Sara Lee, Incredible India!, Maruti Swift Sedan, BPCL, HT Media, Flying Machine, Wienerberger, Manappuram
Group, Pigeon, SREI, Future Retail
Accounts lost: LG Electronics, Greenlam(Laminate business), ACC Cement
Lowe’s problems which began with the payout controversy in August 2007, threatened to continue into the new year. With Balki being promoted to the role of chairman and chief creative officer and with Charles Cadell taking charge as CEO in January this year, doubts were raised about whether this partnership would work, given the track record of expat CEOs in India. With Prem Mehta, Pranesh Misra and Ashish Bhasin leaving the agency, almost in succession, everyone wondered how the agency was going to steer itself back to normalcy. But the partnership is obviously working. The loss of the LG business came as a big blow but was due to a global re-alignment. New business wins this year included Future Retail, Maruti Swift sedan, Godrej Sara Lee, Hanes, HT Media, SREI and Dr Batra’s among others. And while it stayed away from the Abbys, the agency won third place at the Effies 2008. As far as their creative product is concerned, the work done on Idea Cellular stood out. In a competitive category such as telecom, Idea’s communication has been more than distinctive.
The agency has had no unusual attrition and no significant account loss other than LG. Balki kept the morale of the creatives flying with the re- establishment of the True Awards -- an in-house recognition. An indicator, perhaps, that Lowe will continue to stay away from the Abbys.
Campaign Score: 8
How LOWE rates itself: 7
The agency produced some very good work. We had our own awards show…the Lowe Lintas True Show awards…after a 2 year break. As we are an agency that does not believe or enter other award shows, this is the only way we feel good or bad about ourselves We are the harshest judges of our work but the work we showcased at the show did make us feel pretty good…That’s about our work.
This year we also had a huge focus on our marketing services divisions. Which have seen amazing turnarounds. I have always believed that we are the strongest idea creators in the industry. But today I am more confident than ever before that we can do some path breaking ‘real’ stuff in areas beyond television.
We know that we occupy a certain ‘non conformist’ niche in the advertising world that does not always make us the darlings of our industry…but we are ok with it…it’s a trip.