When Lowe owner Interpublic coughed up £28m for former Creston agency DLKW it looked like desperation; Lowe having slid a long, long way from the eminence it once enjoyed in London and elsewhere under founder Sir Frank Lowe.
DLKW, while widely regarded as an efficient shop with a decent record in client retention, hardly bought Lowe-style creative lustre to the party either.
But business is business and the DLKW team have repaid some of their transfer fee by winning bikes to car accessories retailer Halfords from M&C Saatchi, said to be worth £10m although Halfords can be relied upon to drive a hard bargain over fees. Not just that but the agency saw off stiff competition from Beattie McGuinness Bungay and VCCP as well.
DLKW is best known for its work on the giant Halifax bank account and maybe that’s the kind of cheerleader stuff Halfords wants.
Halfords is a big company these days but still a niche retailer so this win leaves room for both a general retailer (Lowe used to handle John Lewis) and a supermarket.
So maybe Lowe can be saved from a fate as a Unilever house agency (Unilever is by far its biggest international account) after all.