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Lowe N.Y. Makes 5% Staff Cut

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NEW YORK Lowe here has reduced its headcount by about 5 percent, the Interpublic Group agency confirmed today.

Lowe this week laid off some employees but also hired a few, resulting in a net reduction of about 10 staffers, said agency president Sal Taibi. That leaves the office with an estimated 190 employees.

The cut was designed to get costs in line with revenue as well as eliminate those that weren't performing well, said sources.

The agency's top clients include Johnson & Johnson, Got Milk, Unilever and Sharp.

Last month, the shop landed creative duties on Outback Steakhouse's $90 million account after a review. Other wins last year included PricewaterhouseCoopers -- a global account with estimated billings of $20 million -- and Unilever's Country Crock. Losses included the U.S portion of the global Stella Artois business that shifted to independent Mother in London after a review.

Also last month, North American chief strategy officer Domenico Vitale left and was replaced by Leeann Mitchell Leahy, a global planning director on J&J in New York. Leahy took the title of head of planning.