Top-level talks about a possible merger between Ammirati Puris Lintas and Lowe Group are understood to be taking place at the US office of the networks’ parent company, InterPublic Group.
Rumours have been gathering pace that elements of the two networks could be merged, or even the entire networks. They have few serious client conflicts around the world.
The president of Lowe & Partners Worldwide Jerry Judge says:”It is definitely not happening.”
But he admits that the InterPublic Group board could be discussing the possibility of a merger between the networks, though he claims not to know whether they are.
A well-placed agency source says: “Lowe’s management is expecting the deal to be signed this week and they are all aware of this, although I can’t believe that Frank Lowe has agreed to it. The question is who is going to run the combined network, who will be the global chief executive and what is it going to be called? My money would be on Lowe Lintas.”
With the loss of the Rover Group account by Ammirati Puris Lintas last month (MW September 23) there is little to stand in the way of a merger between the networks’ London offices. With annual billings of &£267.2m in the UK, Lowe easily outperforms APL, which had billings of &£175m including Rover.
Money saved by merging the two networks would leave IPG in a stronger position to bid for either Saatchi or Grey, according to industry sources.