Sister company moving in with Lowe Campbell Ewald

Lauren Abdel-Razzaq
The Detroit News

Detroit — Lowe Campbell Ewald, the advertising agency that moved last year to the old J.L. Hudson Co. warehouse at Ford Field, will soon be sharing its office with sister agency Jack Morton Worldwide.

Jack Morton, a brand experience agency whose primary client in Detroit is General Motors, will move its 180 staffers at the One Woodward Building downtown to the new location by mid-April, said Jim Palmer, CEO of Lowe Campbell Ewald.

“When we originally got this building, we had a fair amount of expansion space here in the building,” said Palmer. “When they got wind of it and had people visit here, they were very excited to take some of that space.”

The move comes after Lowe Campbell Ewald lost one of its bigger clients, Cadillac, when the auto brand decided in December to switch to Publicis Worldwide as its global agency of record. It took a huge chunk out of the agency’s revenue and forced significant staff reductions.

Lowe Campbell Ewald and Jack Morton Worldwide are owned by Interpublic Group, and it made financial sense to consolidate both companies into the newly renovated office at Ford Field, said Palmer.

“IPG is really the holder of all the real estate contracts,” he said. “In our business there’s only two expenses: real estate and salaries. They do a lot of co-locating of offices.”

Brian Patterson, general manager of Jack Morton Worldwide, said the move would give staff “a space that is more open and collaborative.”

Even as it recovers from the loss of the Cadillac account, Lowe Campbell Ewald faces uncertainty while it waits to find out whether its longstanding contract with the United States Navy will be renewed. Advertising contracts for military recruiting must be re-bid every five years. The agency has been handling the Navy’s recruiting and marketing since 2000.

Palmer said the U.S. Department of Defense is still reviewing the bids and he expects the company will know by mid-spring.

Lowe Campbell Ewald’s clients include 35 other accounts, among them: OnStar, Consumers Energy, Kaiser Permanente, LifeLock Inc., Snuggle, Unilever, USAA, Alltel Wireless and Atkins Nutritionals Inc.

Just over a year after leaving its Warren headquarters and returning to Detroit, where the company was founded, Palmer said the staff is over the loss of the Cadillac account “emotionally” and ready to move on.

“We moved down here because of the creative energy that’s here,” said Palmer. “It’s just great to have the company back where it started.”

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