The march of Oliver Group continues apace with a deal to set up an in-house ‘content’ agency, U-Studio, for Unilver as the FMCG giant seeks to create more ‘seek out’ content as opposed to the stuff that interrupts, namely ads.
There also appears to be an entity called U-Entertainment. Both units are seeking senior managers.
Unilever has embarked on a process aimed at centralising much of its marketing with so-called brand builders and brand developers replacing country managers.
Unilever’s move to branded content mirrors McDonald’s’ desire to manage the flow of such material better, one of the factors in its appointment in the US of a new Omnicom entity, as yet un-named, to replace Leo Burnett.
Conventional creative agencies, therefore, find themselves under attack on two fronts: under pressure from clients to be speedier and, per piece of work anyway, cheaper and also losing out to the likes of Oliver and other production-based agencies. It was ever thus and it remains to be seen if these various new entities, including Oliver, can produce work of the required standard.