Ailing Lowe London has picked up the £100m global advertising business for Unilever-owned Knorr. The move is a lifeline for the struggling agency, which has faced a series of losses and reviews over 2008.
The packaged goods giant called a review of the advertising, previously held by JWT, earlier this year. In April, Lowe won the global business for its soup, professional culinary range and stock cubes, as well as new product development.
At the time, it was thought that CHI & Partners and JWT were battling it out for the remaining part of the business, but Unilever has now decided to move it out of JWT into Interpublic Group-owned Lowe. The agency will handle the account in Europe, Latin America and some part of South East Asia. DDB Worldwide will continue to work on the business in North America, the Middle East, Africa, Turkey, Australia and New Zealand.
Lowe received a vote of confidence from Unilever at the start of 2008, when it won the £100m global ad account for Magnum in January (MW January 11). However, it has been rumoured that following the win, Unilever was reluctant to give the network any more business.
JWT had handled the Knorr business since 2004, when Unilever UK, then known as Unilever Bestfoods, consolidated the account. Prior to that, part of it had been handled by DDB London.
The appointment is a positive end to the year for Lowe, which lost the £4m Innocent account at the end of January (MW January 31), and also lost out on the launch campaign for the 4% variant of Stella to Mother. The flagship Stell account, which Lowe handled for 26 years, has also moved to Mother (MW.co.uk, December 1). Meanwhile, the agency is pitching to retain the £20m John Lewis business. The retailer called the pitch last month after just over two years.