Havas Worldwide's Euro RSCG has been named to Unilever's first global digital roster, along with Publicis Groupe's Razorfish and independent agencies AKQA and Lean Mean Fighting Machine.
While innovation has largely been seen as a missing ingredient at Unilever in recent years, its still-new CEO, Paul Polman, has made it a priority to shake things up. As such, this latest move marks a major shift for the world's second-biggest consumer-products company to reposition its brands to better suit the fast-changing digital landscape.
According to Matt Atkinson, Global CEO of Euro RSCG 4D, the decision comes "after many months of showcasing exactly why Euro RSCG 4D Worldwide is a leader in the digital and social media space."
"We're excited to begin work on a number of their brands in 2010," Atkinson added.
This summer, Unilever launched a review of most of its media business around the world. The majority of the business in review was handled by Mindshare, which held the accounts in the U.S., the UK and many other European countries. Along with Mindshare, various shops from WPP, Omnicom and Interpublic handled media chores for Unilever, and those agency groups were also invited to participate.
At present, WPP is still considered to be Unilever's top holding company, the UK's Daily Mail is reporting that Sir Martin Sorrell's ad giant is on the brink of losing the account as part of a massive shakeup by Unilever.
Unilever expects the first results from its Genesis projects -- a code name for scientific breakthroughs usable across the company's product lines -- to trigger new products next year, its Chief Innovation Officer Genevieve Berger said recently.
Recently, Euro RSCG 4D secured brands including IBM Digital, Credit Suisse, Dulux and Jacobs Creek.
Unilever announced its partnership with Lean Mean Fighting Machine in September, after appointing the agency to handle the digital communications account for its Sunsilk brand. The agency won the business following a pitch against existing Unilever agencies, including AKQA, and Cake.
Lean Mean Fighting Machine is presently at work on a number of digital projects for the brand to build on the advertising that has recently supported Sunsilk.