“Lowe with an E, please”

 The first and only time I have meet Frank Lowe was many decades ago during my brief spell as advertising correspondent of The Times in London.

It was at one of those inevitable ad industry cocktail parties and I recall he introduced himself as “My name is Frank Lowe…..if you ever write about me it is spelt ‘Lowe with an E, please”.  It looks so much better that way…”

He went on to become a creative maven with his own very successful agency, became very rich after selling out, and for reasons unknown to me was knighted to become Sir Frank Lowe. 

But I never did write about him. That is until now when he is back in the headlines, having come out of retirement to launch a new agency and being sued for poaching people and a £50 million account from his previous employers, The Interpublic Group. In characteristic style he is denying the charges and is demanding they be withdrawn with an apology.This is a typical ad industry soap opera which will run and run with the players washing their dirty linen in public for quite a while. Not really of much interest to most people, other than insiders.

More intriguing will be the revelations and personal insights that will come out of the woodwork and these have started already.Frank Kiley, in a Business Week piece, headed ‘The King of Chutzpah’ used to work for Lowe and recalls the times when close up he saw “a creative genius” at work.

“….Frank Lowe only saw the dollar signs, despite his insistence through the years on maintaining high creative standards. He traded his creative standards for the riches that came from rolling up agencies around the world under the protective financial tent of a holding company that let him do it.”

It seems to me years later that The King hasn’t lost his taste for gold.






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