$50 Mil.+ ISP Moves to Lowe

ATLANTA EarthLink today confirmed awarding creative chores on its ad account to Lowe following a review. Estimated billings exceed $50 million.

The Interpublic Group shop overcame sibling Gotham and Omnicom Group’s Merkley + Partners in the final round of a competition conducted by consultancy Pile and Co. here. All three pitched from their offices in New York.

A client representative confirmed Lowe’s selection but declined further comment. Lowe could not immediately be reached.

The Internet services provider has used MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami to craft ads since March 2004. The agency and client ended their relationship late last year; no reason was provided for the split [Adweek Online, Dec. 16].

EarthLink spent $65 million in measured media last year, down nearly $10 million from 2004, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Sources said EarthLink would spend in excess of $50 million this year on ads, but has not finalized a budget. “We revolve around you” has been EarthLink’s tagline.

Media buying and planning, which shifted to Publicis Groupe’s MediaVest and its sibling Halogen, both in New York, from independent Horizon Media a year ago, were not in play.

—with Deanna Zammit and Andrew McMains