Unilever pulls trigger on $57m local pitch, with Mindshare facing off against PHD and Initiative

UnileverGlobal FMCG giant Unilever has confirmed that it has launched an Australian media pitch as part of a global review, Mumbrella can reveal.

Incumbent agency Mindshare, along with PHD and Initiative, who are all on the global roster for Unilever, are understood to all have been given local briefs in recent weeks.

A spokeswoman for Unilever confirmed that the much anticipated local media pitch had begun saying: “To confirm, the process has commenced in Australia, as is the case in all other markets.

“Unilever is undertaking a global media review, in line with company policy to evaluate media agency arrangements periodically. This review is still ongoing.”

The global pitch was announced in January and takes in brands including OMO, Dove, Jif, Lynx and Bushells. In Australia it had a main media spend of $57m in the 12 months to December 2014 according to Nielsen.

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.

Initiative and PHD are likely to throw major resources at the pitch, which will be one of the largest media reviews in Australia in 2015.

All agencies contacted declined to comment when approached. Unilever has previously declined to comment on a timeframe for the media pitch but it is thought that any decision would be made with a view of a January 1 2016 start date.

The pitch is one of a series of global pitches to come down on the Australia in recent months, with Adweek in the US terming it “Mediapalooza”.

Unilever’s rivals Johnson & Johnson have also called a pitch (putting OMD on alert), other global media pitches include: 21st Century Fox (held locally by ZenithOptimedia), cosmetics owner Coty (HM Communication Group) and Sony (Mediacom, UM, OMD).

Nic Christensen 


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