Unilever puts $6B global media account up for review

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Unilever is putting its estimated $6 billion global media account up for review in January for the second time in as many years, company spokesman Dean Mastrojohn confirmed to Direct Marketing News on Dec. 13.

The company invited incumbent agencies Mindshare and PHK to offer proposals, along with "a few other carefully selected" competitors, Unilever said in a statement. The review will have a global scope, and will include services for four CPG categories — foods, refreshments, home care and personal care. 

When asked whether the review is related to Unilever's recent restructuring of management — or to the promotion of Luis Di Como to SVP of global media in February — Mastrojohn declined to comment. 

"It is Unilever policy and common industry practice to conduct agency reviews typically every two to three years," he said. "This review gives us the opportunity to evaluate the optimum solutions for our business in our key countries."

Di Como, in a statement, alluded to a new marketing strategy also playing a role in the upcoming agency reevaluation. "Our new marketing strategy, 'Crafting Brands for Life', and our determination to continue leading in the digital marketing space also drive us to ensure that we are working with the best agencies to deliver our ambitions," he said. He said the review will look at "both strategic planning and in-market execution capabilities from our agency partners."

Mastrojohn said that there is no set deadline for completion of the review process. "We won't communicate a deadline or time frame, as these processes occasionally take longer than originally planned, and this can lend itself to speculation," he said.

Mastrojohn declined to comment on whether the agency review would impact 2012 advertising spend.

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