Ogilvy PR Faces Turbulent Time With Unilever Brands

Bertolli Goes to GolinHarris, Lipton and Slim Fast in Review

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WPP's Ogilvy PR has lost a key piece of its Unilever business and two more brands have initiated a review, according to multiple people familiar with the situation. The firm has lost Bertolli, which has shifted to Interpublic Group's GolinHarris, and Lipton and Slim Fast are now currently up review, according to executives familiar with the matter.

A representative for Ogilvy PR referred a request for comment to Unilever. A spokeswoman for Unilever, would say only that the agency is still on the roster, though she declined to say which brands the firm continues to represent. "[The] info is too closely aligned to our marketing plans," she said.

Unilever is in the midst of internal changes, including the departure of Global Foods President Mike Polk to become CEO of Newell Rubbermaid. It also just announced the addition of Roth Partners to its agency roster. Roth is led by Rick Roth, a former executive at Ogilvy & Mather, which is one of Unilever's primary creative advertising agencies.

Aside from Ogilvy PR, the company works with a number of PR agencies across its personal care brands, including Edelman, Next Fifteen Communications' M Booth, and Interpublic Group's Weber Shandwick and GolinHarris.

In addition to Unilever, other longstanding clients of Ogilvy PR include Ford and LG.

The firm, which reported $200 to $300 million in revenue in 2010, brought on Chris Graves as CEO in 2009 to replace Marcia Silverman. Last summer, Mr. Graves brought on Samantha Allen as global marketing MD to replace Barby Siegel who would then assume the role of CEO at Edelman's Zeno Group. This year, the New York consumer group lost seven senior-level executives, and the agency has since brought on Jennifer Risi, formerly of Weber Shandwick, in addition to a number of other senior-level executives.

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