Merged Agency Is Focused on Retaining Current Clients
NEW YORK–Recognizing the heavy lifting his top execs in the U.S. have done, Frank Lowe has promoted Lee Garfinkel and Gary Goldsmith to CEO and chief creative officer, respectively, at Lowe Lintas & Partners.
Garfinkel, 44, keeps the titles of chief creative officer and chairman, the former reinforcing how closely he works with Goldsmith. At the same time, Goldsmith, also 44, sheds his previous monikers (vice chairman and executive creative director), adds the title of chairman and joins the agency’s worldwide operations board.
The promotions come eight months after parent Interpublic Group of Cos. merged Lowe & Partners with Ammirati Puris Lintas, creating a global shop with billings of more than $11 billion–including $1.7 billion in the U.S.
“No other agency of this size is led by two creatives of Lee’s and Gary’s stature who continue to actually create advertising,” said Lowe, CEO of The Lowe Group, which includes Lowe Lintas. “Lee and Gary have done a wonderful job.”
Since the merger, Garfinkel & Co. have focused on retaining existing clients, particularly former APL staples Burger King and UPS. The merged entity has produced work for both, even as Burger King sought creative ideas from other roster shops.
Looking back, Lowe said, “I had some doubts because one or two clients were in some disarray.” He added, “We feel a lot more confident that we’ve got the right combination” of executives at the top.
Rob Quish, president of the New York office, continues to oversee day-to-day operations there, while U.S. president Bruce Kelley coordinates multioffice and multidiscipline efforts. To focus on global clients, the New York office recently added John Englehart as evp, worldwide client services [Adweek, May 29].
Garfinkel and Goldsmith acknowledged the extra pressure borne of the merger. “We’ve probably learned that we can take on anything and survive it,” Goldsmith said.
Still, each has found satisfaction in account wins such as 3Com ($100 million) and the O’Toole Award it won from the American Association of Advertising Agencies. As for continuing to make ads as executives, Garfinkel said, “It’s what we each got into the business for. It’s what the business is all about.”
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