Lowe Lintas Tackles Sticky Issues

Agency Has Daily Meetings to Sort out Conflicts, Personnel
NEW YORK–Officials from Ammirati Puris Lintas and Lowe & Partners met daily last week hoping to resolve quickly some knotty merger issues, including several account conflicts, the status of some top-level APL executives and where the two agencies will reside.
“We want to try to bring the entity together quickly and not drag this out,” said Bruce Kelley, North American president of Lowe Lintas, the newly minted, $11 billion network.
By week’s end, few definitive answers had emerged, although there have been developments on some fronts. Among them:
*Lowe’s Heineken account, larger than APL’s Labatt U.S.A. brands, is expected to stay, at the expense of Labatt, sources said. The latter is not rushing to find a new agency since it still has a backlog of APL ads, sources said.
*The future of APL president Jim Allman. Allman has been offered a global post at The Lowe Group, sources said. He has strong ties to key client Unilever and that alone underscores his value to the group.
*The future of APL creative chiefs Rob Feakins and Roger Bentley. At least one is expected to stay under chief creative officer Lee Garfinkel, most likely Feakins, sources said.
*A decision on where to call home is imminent. APL has about 10 floors in a building near the United Nations that is able to house Lowe, whose 350 staffers occupy five floors in the midtown Grace Building.
Separately, it is believed that Lowe Lintas has been given some time to develop new work for Burger King, an APL account that is said to be shaky. Still, there is little margin for error, sources said.