Unilever announces global media assignments

October 05, 2012  |  Alicia Androich  |  Comments

Unilever announced the results of its recently finished global media planning and buying agency services review on Friday and the incumbents came away victorious.

The company issued a release confirming local planning and buying assignments for several key territories. Mindshare retained its assignment for planning and buying for North America (which Unilever classifies as the U.S., Canada and Caribbean).

The WPP-owned agency was also appointed in Europe (which encompasses handling a total of 17 countries, including Ireland, France, Italy and Germany), Africa and Asia (the account covers 10 countries, from India to Thailand to Australia).

PHD, an Omnicom agency, also won the work for Asia (specifically China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and New Zealand) and Europe (for 10 countries, including Poland, Latvia, Croatia and Hungary).

Further planning and buying duties in Europe will be handled by Initiative, an IPG agency. Initiative will service Greece, Portugal, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. It also won the business for Mexico and all the countries in Latin America, except Brazil.

As part of “an integrated IPG solution,” Initiative will also manage global planning for household care.

Global communication planning for all personal care, foods, refreshment and home care brands was awarded to PHD.

The release noted that these appointments are dependent on the finalization and execution of contracts related to the assignments.

Jeff Graubard, Unilever media relations manager, told Marketing that the last comprehensive review Unilever conducted was in 2009/2010 and that “it’s our policy to conduct agency reviews typically every two to three years.”

Graubard said Unilever invited its three incumbent agencies—PHD, Mindshare and Initiative—to take part in the global media planning and buying pitch, “and a few other carefully selected ones.” The review initiated in Jan. 2012.

While he said on Friday afternoon that Unilever wouldn’t comment on which other agencies pitched or provide any details of the pitch process, Graubard commented that Unilever is “confident that the agencies that we’ve chosen for each of our markets will deliver the best solution for the business in those geographies – in terms of innovation, strategic thinking and efficient and effective work.”

Unilever senior vice-president global media Luis Di Como said in the release that Unilever will work closely with its agency partners to deliver the company’s marketing strategy, “Crafting Brands for Life.” She also referenced Unilever’s “ambition to continue leading in the digital marketing space.”

Other ambitions for Unilever, said Di Como, include doubling the size of the business, lessening its environmental footprint and boosting its social impact.

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