Unilever to move toothpaste brands

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[London] Unilever is believed to be planning to move the pan-European account for toothpaste brands Signal and Mentadent from Interpublic Group of Cos.' Lowe & Partners, Paris, to Publicis Groupe-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London. Neither Unilever nor Bartle Bogle would confirm the move, but the announcement is expected this week. A Lowe Paris spokeswoman said, "Unilever has said nothing to us. Today it is not true." Lowe is defending another key Unilever account-the $45 million international margarine brand sold as Flora in the U.K.-in a pitch against Bartle Bogle and WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather. The agency won Unilever's $10 million pan-European Surf detergent business from Lowe last year. Lowe later hired a London-based global account director, Helen Chaffee, to strengthen Lowe's position with its remaining Unilever laundry brands.