Speculation is mounting that Dutch brewer Heineken is to appoint D’Arcy in New York to its $50–$60 million US account, after firing incumbent Lowe last week [WAMN: 24-Jan-02]. An official announcement is expected as early as this week.
All is not lost for Lowe, however, as its London office will continue to handle the client’s $20m business in the UK and Ireland.
It is said that Michael Silver, in charge of the US Heineken duties at Lowe and closely linked with the account for several years, is in talks to join D’Arcy, where he would team up with two other former Lowe staffers, Lee Garfinkel and Bob Nelson.
Reports suggest D’Arcy is hesitating slightly over Silver’s demands for share options in parent Bcom3 Group, but the executive is regarded as a sine qua non if the account is to move.
Garfinkel and Nelson both worked on the brewer’s business at Lowe, and both had non-compete clauses in their contracts with the agency’s parent Interpublic Group, as does Silver. Garfinkel’s will reportedly expire in July, but Nelson and, potentially, Silver, will have to wait until early 2003.
However, Lowe has just completed 16 TV ads for the brewer which, say sources, may suffice until the non-compete clauses expire.
The 90-day notice period given to Lowe comes to an end in April.
News sources: AdAge.com; Adweek.com