Unilever declined to comment for this story. At the beginning of
the review, Senior VP-Global Media Luis Di Como said, "We want to
make sure that we continue to have best-in-class agency partners to
deliver Unilever's vision: to double the size of our business while
reducing our environmental impact. We will be looking at strategic
planning and in-market execution capabilities from our agency
The company's U.S. ad spending in 2010 was $1.38 billion,
according to the Ad Age DataCenter.
The company invited its worldwide incumbents, including
Mindshare (North America and Western Europe); Interpublic Group of
Cos.' Initiative (Latin America); and Omnicom's PHD (China, Central
Europe); among other agencies to pitch for the global-planning
business. It's understood that the company also asked some agencies
to provide materials for its U.S. evaluation.
The U.S. retention is a boon for Mindshare and its relatively
new CEO in the region, Antony Young. The move also shows
consistency. Unilever's decision to retain the firm comes only two
years after its last media review. At the time, Mindshare held onto its business in the region and the
global assignments were left mostly unchanged.
It's not immediately clear whether the timing of the network TV
upfront inspired the company's latest decision to retain its
incumbent. Regardless, the decision likely dissolves any tension
that a review might have caused throughout the annual negotiations
MediaLink is said to be assisting with the ongoing global