IPG Mulls Proposal to Retire Lintas Moniker

After more than 70 years, the name Lintas is looking at retirement.

Under a proposal by Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide officials, the Lintas name would be removed from the agency’s offices in 80 countries.

The move is intended to distance Lowe from the packaged-goods reputation associated with the Lintas name, which was born as an acronym for Lever International Advertising Services prior to the 1930 formation of Unilever.

Since it would restore a name that existed prior to Lowe’s merger with the former Ammirati Puris Lintas in October 1999, agency executives believe the name change could go a long way toward re-emphasizing the creative heritage of Lowe.

Lowe Lintas executives, including worldwide chairman Frank Lowe, referred calls to IPG.

IPG CEO John Dooner on Friday confirmed that the proposed name change is under consideration and would be evaluated by IPG management and its board.

The symbolic and historic name change appears to have the blessing of the client to which it is so closely tied. “It’s not something that we would get hung up about,” said Steve Milton, a Unilever representative. “It’s cosmetic to us and we realize that there are no sacred cows in branding anymore.”

Milton added, “Obviously, the key is their creativity . . . And if this helps that, (then) we’d support it.”

Top agency executives from around the world approved the change during a meeting in London last month, said sources. In May, then worldwide president Jerry Judge broached the idea of dropping Lintas in an internal e-mail to top regional executives. The e-mail sought their opinions on the topic. Judge is now worldwide CEO.

The Lintas name has endured several incarnations over the years, due mainly to agency mergers. In 1982, when SSC&B bought Lintas, the name SSC&B: Lintas Worldwide emerged. Later, when Lintas merged with Ammirati & Puris, APL was formed.