Ameritech Hangs Up on Lowe; GSD&M to Profit

Lowe Lintas & Partners is shuttering its office, here, after losing the $85 million Ameritech creative account, which is being consolidated at roster shops affiliated with the telco’s parent, SBC Communications.
GSD&M is expected to pick up the bulk of the San Antonio client’s Ameritech business. The Austin, Texas, agency won media duties for Ameritech, formerly at Carat ICG, in January and buys media for all SBC units. An SBC representative said only that the Ameritech business would be split among roster shops GSD&M; Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco; and Rodgers Townsend, St. Louis.
Consolidation had been expected since SBC said it intended to buy Ameritech in May 1998 [Adweek, May 18, 1998]. The $62 million takeover was completed in October.
Lowe Lintas will close its Chicago office in May when the relationship officially ends. A new entity, formed by a joint venture of Lowe Lintas and St. Louis-based promotions shop The Zipatoni Co., which is also owned by The Lowe Group, will open in its place.
Lowe Lintas Zipatoni, a marketing-services office, will be based here. Lowe Lintas Zipatoni’s leadership was not revealed. Some of the 50 staffers in Lowe Lintas’ office will be given an opportunity to join the new venture, the agency said.
Lowe Lintas’ Chicago president Brad Brinegar said he has no plans past the next two months.
Tim Kane, managing director, creative, could not be reached.
The direct-marketing arm of the Chicago shop, Lowe Lintas Columbian, will remain open, the agency said.
The Chicago office opened as Ammirati Puris Lintas when APL won the Ameritech account in July 1997. The shop had little success in landing new business, despite participating in numerous pitches.
The status of another client, Amtrak Leisure brand’s $15 mil-lion account, was unresolved, Brinegar said. K