Unilever Completes $7 Billion Global Review

Consumer goods giant Unilever completed its global media agency review, a process it began in January.

The Unilever pitch, mandated by its review-every-three-years policy, was the biggest media account among the many huge assignments that were put into play this year.

The company spent approximately $7.7 billion worldwide on advertising and promotion last year, according to the company’s 2014 annual report -- down from about $7.9 billion in 2013.

But the company said the drop was due to increased efficiencies with no diminished impact on its advertising and promotion program.

In the U.S., Unilever spent more than $800 million last year, according to Kantar media.

The lengthy review resulted mostly in some tweaking of regional assignments. Mindshare will continue to handle media chores in the U.S. and Africa, while adding a few European territories that had been handled by PHD.



PHD retained its Asia Assignment and added Australia, previously handled by Mindshare.

Mindshare was also awarded global data and programmatic buying duties. Earlier this year, the client awarded PHD and sibling agency Resolution Media global search responsibilities. PHD retained a global communications planning task that was awarded in 2012.

Initiative has been appointed to handle the client's media chores in Latin America and Greece. The Interpublic agency was also assigned global communication planning duties for Unilever's House Hold Care products.

Estimates are that some $25 billion to $30 billion in media assignments went into review this year -- including Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola and L’Oréal, among others -- or shifted without a formal review, such as Kraft-Heinz shortly after the merger of the two companies.

Unilever’s brands include Dove, Axe, Lipton, Klondike and Suave, among others. 

Agencies involved declined to comment.  A Unilever representative did not respond to a query about the review.

This story has been updated to provide more detail on Initiative's post-review assignments. 

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