Interpublic Creates Mullen Lowe Group, Alex Leikikh Named CEO

by Michela Galante , AdForum

Move Aligns Leading U.S. Agency and Global Creative Network with
Common Cultures in Service of Clients Across World’s Most Dynamic Markets

New York, NY – May 8, 2015 – Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG) announced today that Mullen and Lowe and Partners will join to form Mullen Lowe Group, a creatively-driven global agency network with a strong, shared entrepreneurial heritage and challenger mentality.

Mullen Lowe Group combines two of the most highly-decorated and innovative agencies in the world and reinforces IPG’s commitment to growing a third global full-service network within the company’s portfolio. Alex Leikikh, previously Mullen’s CEO, has been named Worldwide CEO of the new Mullen Lowe Group. Michael Wall, the Lowe and Partners CEO, helped create the roadmap for today’s announcement and has decided to leave the company after a brief transitional period. The executive leadership team for the new entity will be drawn from both companies and across world markets, with Jose Miguel Sokoloff continuing in his position as Chairman of the Global Creative Council.

“We have been clear that, with the diversification of Lowe’s offerings and its improved performance, the key for the network is now continuing its global growth, including the U.S., the world’s largest ad market,” said Michael Roth, Chief Executive Officer of Interpublic Group. “By creating Mullen Lowe Group, we can unlock this potential, and simultaneously provide a gateway to global talent and service infrastructure for one of our most dynamic and contemporary U.S. agencies. Clients will benefit from this combination of talent and creativity, as well as the fact the agencies have highly complementary cultures. Additionally, we see this as an excellent opportunity to engage Alex on a global stage and bring his strong leadership and proven track record as a builder of teams and business to one of the industry’s outstanding creative networks.”

“For Mullen, an ability to help our clients compete internationally has always been part of a broader growth strategy,” said Leikikh. “We are only as good as the talent we can attract and we owe it to our clients to put the world’s best minds to bear on their brands. Together, Lowe and Mullen have some of the world’s top people working across all major world markets. We have tremendous strength in the U.K, with great creative talent in high-growth markets that will remain at the core of our offering. The shared spirit of both agencies will drive a global creative group focused on clients who share our ‘always think like a challenger’ approach. The timing and the partnership are perfect, as we have U.S. clients asking us to take them global and we have a common goal with Lowe to be the most innovative and creative agency in the world.”

“We have been working with the team at IPG on this plan to enhance Lowe’s progress in terms of its capabilities in the key markets around the world,” said Wall. “The addition of Lowe Profero has really put digital at our core, and there is some nice momentum with new client business across the network. The U.S. is the key piece to accelerating this performance. And with Alex and the exceptional team at Mullen there is a great basis to build on our mutual success."

GROUP STRUCTURE
Mullen Lowe Group will begin operations in the U.S. and U.K. markets effective immediately:
• In the U.S., Mullen Lowe Group will oversee Mullen’s offices in Boston, Los Angeles and Winston-Salem, which will re-brand as Mullen Lowe.
• The fully-integrated digital capabilities of the Lowe Profero agency in New York and Mullen’s award-winning integrated media unit, Mediahub, will report into Mullen Lowe Group. In addition, Mullen Lowe Group will open an office in New York.
• In the U.K., Mullen Lowe Group will oversee DLKW Lowe, as well as Lowe Profero and Lowe Open in London.
• Campbell Ewald and its clients will continue to access the international network as required. The agency – with offices in Detroit, San Antonio, New York, and Los Angeles – will operate independently within the Mullen Lowe Group.

All Lowe agencies in key international markets will report to Mullen Lowe Group and Mr. Leikikh. Plans are in place to migrate agencies to the Mullen Lowe branding for the bulk of Lowe’s current international markets as appropriate over the course of 2015 and 2016.

MULLEN FACTS
In recent years Mullen has been selected as a Fast Company Most Innovative Company, a three-time Advertising Age A-List Agency, a Creativity Innovator of the Year, and one of Forbes Magazine’s Ten Great Ad Agencies. In 2014, Mullen won six Cannes Lions, an Emmy Award, and was ranked as the #6 U.S. and #15 worldwide agency for creative achievement by the prestigious One Club. In addition, Mediahub, Mullen’s media planning and buying unit, was recognized as the Full-Service Agency of the Year by Mediapost in 2014.

LOWE AND PARTNERS FACTS
Lowe and Partners is ranked in the top ten Cannes Lions Creative global networks and the fourth Most Effective Agency Network Globally in the Effie Index. Lowe SSP3 was named the International Agency of the Year by Advertising Age in 2013, the first agency in Colombia to receive that honor, and Lowe Lintas in India was the publication’s International Agency of the Year runner-up in 2014. In the WARC 100, an annual ranking of the world’s best marketing companies and campaigns, based on their performance in effectiveness and strategy competitions, Lowe Lintas India is the number one Creative Agency in the World, and the Lowe Network is ranked fourth in the Top Agency Networks in the World.

# # #

About Interpublic
Interpublic is one of the world's leading organizations of advertising agencies and marketing services companies. Major global brands include BPN, Craft, FCB (Foote, Cone & Belding), FutureBrand, Golin, Huge, Initiative, Jack Morton Worldwide, MAGNA GLOBAL, McCann, Momentum, MRM//McCann, Mullen Lowe Group, Octagon, R/GA, UM and Weber Shandwick. Leading domestic brands include Avrett Free Ginsberg, Carmichael Lynch, Deutsch, Hill Holliday, ID Media, and The Martin Agency. For more information, please visit www.interpublic.com.

# # #
Contact Information
Tom Cunningham
(Press)
(212) 704-1326

Jerry Leshne
(Analysts, Investors)
(212) 704-1439

Want to make your company shine?
>> Switch to a Starter Profile
Join
The Creative Industry Network

List your company among the leaders of the industry, promote your competencies, showcase your work & join an exclusive global marketing and creative industry network.

Submit Your Company