Lowe Holds Powwow to Boost Agency Morale

NEW YORK – During an agencywide meeting last Thursday, Lowe Lintas & Partners unveiled a new operating philosophy, dismissed talk of more layoffs and yet another merger, and acknowledged that the Lintas name will be retired.

The offsite breakfast meeting was designed to boost morale by announcing moves to redefine the shop after a difficult year of client defections.

The new mantra, “stretch,” comes after months of discussions among the agency’s top brass, including U.S. CEO Paul Hammersley, chairman and chief creative officer Gary Goldsmith and New York president Rob Quish.

“To extend beyond proper or reasonable limits” was how Hammersley defined it. Stretch is meant to apply to everything staffers do-from running departments to producing ads and pitching new business, Hammersley said. He added: “I think [mantras] give people focus.”

At the same time, the agency acknowledged plans to excise the word Lintas from its name.

As of Jan. 1, it will simply be known as Lowe. The disappearance of Lintas-initially an acronym for the in-house creative department of key client Unilever-had been expected [Adweek, July 2]. Hammersley also denied speculation that the shop would be involved in a merger with another Interpublic Group shop such as Deutsch or Foote, Cone & Belding.

“We’re not merging with Deutsch-or anyone else,” said Hammersley. As for layoffs, he said no, not for the foreseeable future.