London-headquartered network Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide is shutting its office in San Francisco.

“The factors in this decision are twofold,” explained Lowe’s US chairman Gary Goldsmith, “the dramatically softening San Francisco-region advertising market and a radical reduction of advertising-related spending and viable new-business opportunities in that marketplace.”

The contraction in the tech sector has seen the office’s billings tumble from a high of $150 million to the current total of $15m. Staff numbers have also been cut back, from a peak of 60 to the current 27. Jobs at other San Francisco shops or at Interpublic-owned siblings of Lowe are being sought for the remaining employees.

The move leaves the network with only one American outpost in New York, where eighteen staff were axed only last week [WAMN: 14-May-01].

News source: New York Times