IPG, Frank Lowe Reach Accord

NEW YORK Interpublic Group, a year after initiating a legal tussle with Frank Lowe, has reached a settlement with the former chairman of the IPG agency that still bears his name, the holding company confirmed today.

In January 2006, IPG filed a claim with the American Arbitration Association that accused Lowe of using proprietary information to destabilize his ex-agency and former employer. Lowe denied the allegation and responded with a civil lawsuit in state Supreme Court in New York that accused IPG of defaming him via “false and injurious statements” in the arbitration claim and a related press release.

To settle, Lowe has dropped his suit and IPG has withdrawn its claim, IPG confirmed. The holding company declined further comment.

The settlement, which sources said does not involve an exchange of money, had been expected [Adweek, Nov. 27].

IPG filed its claim a month after Lowe returned to the ad business with the opening of a London agency known as The Red Brick Road. Red Brick Road’s first client was Tesco, which in March shifted its estimated $80 million account out of the London office of IPG’s Lowe.

While Tesco’s shift hurt its former shop, it stemmed from a client decision that IPG could not reverse. IPG, however, remained concerned about the prospect of further client and staff erosion, and that prompted the holding company to lodge its complaint.