DFGW: Lowe ‘spun’ the truth about breakdown of merger

Independent agency DFGW has launched a withering attack on beleaguered Lowe London following the breakdown of a merger of the two agencies.

Lowe was expected to acquire DFGW within the next two weeks, but the deal was shelved in the aftermath of Lowe’s biggest client Tesco firing the agency after a 16-year partnership.

Lowe confirmed Tesco’s departure in a statement. adding: “In light of these events, Lowe London can also confirm that it is no longer seeking to acquire independent ad agency DFGW.”

The management at DFGW is however furious and claims Lowe has “spun” the truth – which is that DFGW independently chose to break off the deal last week.

An insider at the agency says: “Lowe has been a bit misleading with its statement. We pulled out of the deal before Tesco walked away from Lowe.

“We made a positive decision because we felt that our way of working didn’t fit with that at Lowe and couldn’t see the deal benefiting our clients or staff. We work in an open and collaborative way whereas Lowe’s style is more old-fashioned.”

The source says DFGW is not looking for a merger partner and is not desperate to sell. He says: “We saw an opportunity to help Lowe’s chief, Garry Lace, reinvent Lowe London, but it didn’t work out.”

Tesco’s move follows the revelation that Sir Frank Lowe will come out of retirement and re-enter the world of advertising with a start-up agency involving Lowe London chairman Paul Weinberger, who works closely with the supermarket.

Cover Story, page 22

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