Unilever to review food advertising

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Unilever, as part of its focus on promoting fewer, larger brands, plans to hold a strategic review of its food ad business early next year. The review is estimated to involve hundreds of millions of dollars. Such action has been long anticipated following Unilever's merger with Bestfoods, which markets the Knorr and Hellmann's brands. "Following Unilever's brand focus exercise and the addition of the Knorr and Hellmann's brands to the portfolio, the savory and salad category teams are reviewing the agency alignment on their priority brands to channel the experience and resources of their agencies more effectively," the Anglo-Dutch giant said in a statement. "Brands will be reassigned to the current main agency partners on the basis of global or regional alignments. Decisions on future assignments will be made early in the new year." Networks asked to participate include BBDO Worldwide, DDB Worldwide, Lowe Lintas & Partners World-wide, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and J. Walter Thompson Co., according to local U.K. reports. In the U.S., Unilever just consolidated its estimated $575 million media planning and broadcast buying account into WPP Group's MindShare (Ad Age Daily, Nov. 29).

Copyright November 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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