Unilever fires starting pistol on $57m media pitch with major agencies set to compete

UnlieverGlobal FMCG giant Unilever has confirmed that it will review its Australian media account as part of a global review, putting local incumbent Mindshare on alert as rival networks look to unseat them.

The account, which includes brands such as OMO, Dove, Jif, Lynx and Bushells, and had a media spend of $57m in the 12 months to December 2014 according to Nielsen, is likely to see GroupM’s Mindshare face off against Omnicom’s PHD and Mediabrands’ Initiative, which are the other agencies on the global roster.

“(We have) confirmation that the global review does cover all markets, including Australia,” said a Unilever Australasia spokeswoman. “Mindshare is the incumbent.”

All agencies contacted declined to comment, as did Unilever when asked about a possible shortlist or timeframe for the media pitch. However, it is thought that any decision would be made with a view of a January 1 2016 start date.

Mindshare has held the account in Australia since 2011 when it was won under former CEO James Greet, taking it from UM. Mindshare also has responsibility for the account in a number of other countries in the region including Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, India, Pakistan Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Overnight the multinational company confirmed reports of a media review on which agencies control its $8.3bn global ad spend.

Unilever’s digital spending increased 20 per cent last year and now accounts for around 20 per cent of the company’s global media spending.

Nic Christensen 


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