Frank Lowe Finally Names Shop: The Red Brick Road

NEW YORK Frank Lowe has named his new London shop The Red Brick Road in a nod to a road that Dorothy didn’t take in The Wizard of Oz. “Inspiration for the name came from Camelia Wood, a 19-year-old Montessori school teacher from London who discussed with Frank the idea of what might have happened if Dorothy had followed the red brick road instead,” the shop said. The agency is opening March 1 with the $80 million Tesco account, which is shifting from IPG’s Lowe. Two prospective partners—Lowe London ecd Ed Morris and JWT London managing director Mark Cadman—last week declined offers to join. Morris stayed at Lowe via a counteroffer, which included doubling his salary, putting his name on the door and several thousand shares of IPG stock. Cadman, along with JWT head of planning Russ Lidstone, became CEO and chief strategic officer, respectively, at Havas’ Euro RSCG in London.

Gerber Briefs Finalists for $45 Mil. Baby Line Business

NEW YORK Executives from Novartis’ Gerber division briefed three agency finalists earlier this month in a review for its estimated $45 million brand of baby products, sources said. Final presentations are set for late February from the incumbent, independent Noble BBDS in Chicago, WPP’s Grey and IPG’s Foote Cone & Belding, both New York. The work will go into test with a decision some time in the spring. Execs at the agencies referred calls to the Parsippany, N.J., client, which could not be reached.

Kirshenbaum Picks Up Martha Stewart Branding Assignment

NEW YORK Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia has hired MDC’s Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners as a brand consultant, the client confirmed. The New York agency this year will aim to focus the brand message across a variety of current and upcoming Martha Stewart ventures. In addition to brand architecture, the agency will offer advertising support, design, media and direct-response marketing services.

AOL Introduces First ‘High Speed’ Ads via BBDO

NEW YORK AOL this week is launching an ad campaign to promote its new nationwide network of broadband partnerships. The yearlong “AOL High Speed” push includes TV, Internet, print and radio. Omnicom’s BBDO created seven commercials, Atmosphere BBDO is doing interactive and Interpublic’s Intitiative is handling media planning and buying. Creative features AOL members racing elite athletes in swimming, speed skating, track and field and other sports. Spending on the campaign was not disclosed.

Diamond Company Bows First Valentine’s Campaign in 5 years

NEW YORK The Diamond Trading Company this week will launch its first Valentine’s Day ads in five years. The integrated effort, via WPP’s JWT New York, includes national newspaper, weekly magazine, radio and online media ads, which break Wednesday for a two-week run. Creative depicts a classic romance novel with the hero’s face replaced by that of an “average Joe.” The copy declares any man can be a romantic hero with the gift of a diamond. Street teams dressed as the ads’ heros will distribute magnets that women can customize with with the face of their partner. Budget was not disclosed, but the effort represents 5 percent of DTC’s 2006 marketing budget. The company spent $65 million through November last year and $71 million in 2004, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Unilever Bundles Regional Oral Care Brands at Lowe

NEW YORK Unilever has consolidated global creative duties on its oral care brands in Asia, Latin America and Africa at IPG’s Lowe, the client confirmed on Friday. Billings on the business, which includes brands such as Close Up, Pepsodent and Signal, are estimated at $50 million. Previously, creative duties were split between Lowe and WPP’s JWT, with a small portion at WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather. It was not immediately clear how much in new billings Lowe had gained. The agency referred calls to the client, which declined to discuss spending. The additional business comes as Lowe seeks to rebound from client losses and reinvent itself as a smaller, creatively driven agency.