Pounder to Head New Lowe Unit

NEW YORK — Lowe has bundled its healthcare clients into a dedicated, stand-alone unit that will be run by Richard Pounder, previously the top account executive on brands such as Motrin, Lamisil and Imodium.

Pounder, 55, resigned from the New York shop earlier this year [Adweek, Jan. 7]. He reconsidered, however, once Lowe CEO Paul Hammersley offered him the chance to steer the new unit, which starts with a staff of 30-40 and billings of about $125 million. It has yet to be named.

The unit, with its own management and profit-and-loss responsibilities, will pursue new business both on its own and in partnership with sister shops, according to Pounder. And while it will draw resources from Lowe, it is designed as a turnkey operation, offering planning, account management and creative. The creative director is Amy Sacks, a writer who has worked with Pounder for years. (Sacks also initially resigned in January.)

The move, besides enabling Lowe to retain talent, shows the shop is serious about building its expertise in this category, said Hammersley. “It’s about giving it some focus, some attention,” he added.

The unit will handle creative duties on prescription and nonprescription brands marketed by Novartis, McNeil Consumer Healthcare and Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical. (Media duties for those clients are split among several shops.) Motrin, a McNeil brand, spent about $25 million in measured media through November of last year, according to CMR.