DLKW Lowe faces another big loss as £70m Morrisons reviews

I suppose poor old DLKW Lowe was bound to get it in the neck from Morrisons – the UK supermarket group has been struggling to keep pace with discounters Asda, Aldi and Lidl and now Tesco has entered that frame as Phil Clarke throws the kitchen sink at reviving its market share.

Neither does Morrisons have an online operation nor a credible ‘local’ network of smaller stores – although it’s trying to play catch-up with both.

So the ad agency was bound to be reviewed – and indeed it is.

DLKW has had Lowe attached to its name since being sold by Creston to the struggling IPG network for £17m or so a couple of years ago but actually its output is nothing like the classy stuff Lowe became famous for when Frank Lowe was ruling its roost. DLKW is more at the Sun/Daily Mirror end of the spectrum.

There’s nothing wrong with this Ant & Dec opus per se but do we really believe the two ITV multi-millionaires are bothered about Morrisons’ meat? They probably send their butlers to Selfridges.

Morrisons replaced Tesco at Lowe when Frank set up The Red Brick Road with the approval of his old mucker, then Tesco CEO Terry Leahy. The last thing it needs is another whopping exit (it lost Halifax to Adam&Eve/DDB last year too) so it’s no wonder it’s repitching.

A chance for all those agencies who lost out to Wieden+Kennedy for Tesco to dust off their presentations. I thought (completely wrongly) that M&C Saatchi was a good bet for Tesco. Will the venerable quartet running M&C (now £47m richer after selling the freehold of the agency’s Golden Square offices) manage a last hurrah?

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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.

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