Unilever hands $14M Surf to BBH

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[London] Unilever handed the $14 million pan-European advertising account for its Surf laundry brand without a pitch to Publicis-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty. The incumbent, Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe & Partners Worldwide, London, fought and won a pitch in April to keep the Surf business, beating off a challenge from independent London agency Mother.

Simon Clift, Unilever's home and personal care marketing president, said in a statement, "This move is part of our continuing plan to make BBH a key strategic partner, alongside Lowe, who remain our agency partners for the majority of our global brands." In the U.S., Surf is sold under the All name and is handled by Lowe.

Surf is BBH's fourth Unilever brand. The others are men's fragrance Axe, known as Lynx in the U.K.; women's fragrance Impulse; and Bertolli, an olive-oil-based spread. Bertolli is a global account, and Axe and Impulse are pan-European, with BBH handling Axe in the U.S. as well.