DLKW may be good for Lowe, might save Creston

£28m looks a rather generous cash payment by Interpublic’s Lowe agency for London agency Delaney Lund Knox Warren – until you note that current owner Creston paid £34m for it a couple of years ago.

Both figures look a bit toppy for an agency making about £2m a year profit.

Lowe these days, in London anyway, is far from being the “global creative powerhouse” IPG CEO Michael Roth likes to call it but DLKW brings a proven management in Richard Warren, Greg Delaney and Tom Knox and at least one proper account in Halifax.

Lowe London has been rather short of these since the defections of Tesco, Stella Artois and John Lewis. Lowe London will now be known as DLKW Lowe.

As for Don Elgie’s Creston Group it seems to be yet another instance of a heavily-borrowed mini-marcomms group that finds itself suddenly in need of cash in a recession.

Creston is taking a £3m hit on the sale but £28m is £28m. Without DLKW though its offer looks a bit thin. Of the companies it now owns across its three divisions – insight, communications and health – only direct marketer Tullo Marshall Warren is an industry name.

But its share price has recovered to around £1 against a low of 20p or so so Elgie and Creston may live to fight another day.

As for Lowe London, sorry DLKW Lowe, it has a major job on its hands to show that a fairly successful London agency outfit can re-energise a vital part of a global network.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.