Consumer goods giant Unilever has moved its global communications planning account to Mindshare from PHD without a review process.
According to news reports. Unilever has been seeking to simplify its media planning by slashing the number of agencies with which it works globally. It is also simultaneously looking at cutting down agency fees.
Reports further suggest that a source familiar with Unilever’s thinking says that it wants to have better co-ordination between global and local media planning and maintained the account switch was not a cost-cutting move.
Incidentally, PHD had won the global communications planning account from Mindshare in 2012 after a competitive review.
Speaking about the outcome, Unilever said, “In line with the digitisation and fragmentation of today’s consumer and media as well as our Connected 4 Growth programme, which is giving Unilever more local agility and speed, we are evolving our media agency arrangements.
“We will be partnering globally for communication planning with Mindshare to increase our effectiveness and deliver greater global-to-local relevance, future-proofing our marketing communication in a rapidly changing media landscape.
“We would like to acknowledge the value that PHD have delivered to our business and will continue working in markets with our current agency partners PHD, Initiative and Mindshare for local media planning and buying.”
WPP’s Mindshare already manages several of Unilever’s media-buying globally, including the US while PHD handles some of Unilever’s media-buying in Australia and parts of Asia and that is unaffected by the shake-up to global communications planning, according to reports.
Unilever had said earlier this year that it would halve the number of agencies that it uses from 3,000 and reduce the number of ads it makes because it has been over-saturating the market and not “wearing” them out.
However, Unilever has insisted that it will not reduce its media spend. The company spends close to €7.5bn a year on brand and marketing investment, say reports.