Lowe London has pulled out of the £20m ad pitch for John Lewis. The move by the incumbent has come in a year which has seen key account losses and the departure of its executive creative director, Ed Morris (pictured).
The shortlist for the John Lewis account is now down to Adam & Eve and Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy.
In a statement Lowe says: “We are running a business, and as such, we need to make decisions about how to best deploy our resources and we do not believe that the pitch favours our participation.”
Last month Morris announced that he would be stepping down from day-to-day management of the agency early next year. He is expected to consult for the agency. It is not clear if he has a job to go to, but it is understood that he has remained close to clients such as Innocent and John Lewis.
This year Lowe lost its grip on the Stella Artois business, which has now gone to Mother. Last month it lost the £100m Nokia N Series account to Wieden & Kennedy. It has also lost the Innocent and Twinings accounts. However, the agency network recently managed to nab the £100m global Knorr business (MW December 10).
John Lewis called the review, which is being led by head of brand communication Craig Inglis, last month who said he was taking the action because of the tough economic climate. The process is being handled by the AAR.