The Lowe Group re-entered the UK PR industry this week, after a
ten-year absence, by acquiring a majority stake in healthcare specialist
Fusion ranked ninth in PR Week’s healthcare league tables last year,
with a fee income of pounds 1.5 million. It will now be known as Lowe
Fusion Healthcare and will co-ordinate all the group’s European activity
in this sector.
Lowe’s is the 13th biggest advertising network in the world, with
billings of pounds 2.27 billion in 1997. The group has been absent from
PR in the UK since selling its stake in PR agency Lowe Bell to Sir Tim
Bell in 1989.
Fusion’s major clients include Bristol-Myers Squibb, Schering,
SmithKline Beecham and Zeneca.
Lowe Healthcare and Fusion already share Glaxo Wellcome as a client and
both sides are talking to others about consolidating their accounts.
’We were very interested in their pan-European work and the fact that
they do a lot of education as well as PR,’ said John Puglisi, chairman
of Lowe Healthcare.
Fusion chairman and founder Neil Kendle and managing director Julia Cook
will stay on with the existing management team.
Lowe Group moved into healthcare in 1996 with the acquisition of US
agency Williams Douglas McAdams. Last month it bought a second US
agency, Pace, and formally launched the division Lowe Healthcare. Lowe
has no plans at the moment to expand further into PR in the UK.