Packaged-goods giant Unilever is conducting a global media agency review, the company confirmed Friday.
The company’s global ad budget is massive. It reported total advertising and promotion expenditures in 2013 of 6.8 billion euros in its annual report for that year. That’s about $7.6 billion at today’s exchange rates.
The firm is in “the early stages of our periodical media agency review process," a company rep confirmed today.
Unilever has a policy of reviewing its media agency assignment every three years. The current contracts run through 2015, and the just-launched review is for the period 2016 and beyond, the company also confirmed.
The incumbents include WPP’s Mindshare, which retained North American buying duties after Unilever’s 2012 global media agency review. The shop also handles a few overseas territories.
Omnicom’s PHD was awarded a global communications planning assignment in 2012 that covers much of the Unilever business, although Interpublic’s Initiative also has a global comms planning assignment for certain products within Unilever’s home-care division. Initiative also handles media duties for Latin America, Russia and parts of Europe.
Unilever brands include Dove, Axe, Lipton, Klondike, and Suave, among others.
Not that I have an ax to grind (pun intended), but Unilever reviews must be a real bear. Any account worth billions takes a huge number of manhours just to get it going and, by the time you finally get it cranking, another review comes in. For something this big a review can easily take 6 months, 6 months in which you take your eye off the ball (whether you admit or not) defending it. Looks kind of self defeating.