For almost two decades, Lowe was the serial divorcée who just couldn’t find Mr. Right. Despite numerous matchmaking efforts of parent Interpublic Group of Cos. to marry it with a number of its other units, Lowe remained loveless. That is until three years ago, when the holding company landed on a compatible combination in MullenLowe that has been living happily ever after.
“Mergers don’t tend to work very well, particularly in this business, because of the egos and the cultures involved,” says Alex Leikikh, global CEO of MullenLowe Group. This one was different, he says, because Mullen’s and Lowe’s cultures were well aligned: The shop sees itself as a challenger agency for challenger brands, and seeks out clients that see the world the same way.
MullenLowe, tied on our list at No. 10, says it saw 198 new-business wins across the global network in 2017, including work for Whole Foods, E-Trade, Chipotle, Nuveen and AkzoNobel’s consumer paint business. In the U.S., MullenLowe claims a 20 percent increase in new business revenue in 2017.