Unilever picks Manchester’s Amaze to supervise global websites

Which is pretty amazing really, not that companies based in Manchester aren’t capable of handling such a big global task but you still don’t expect them to beat the behemoths of the digital world to the job.

But Amaze, owned by Manchester-based holding company Hasgrove and led by CEO Rod Hyde, has beaten a gaggle of other digital specialists for the job of bringing more ‘consistency’ to Unilever’s 104 websites in 68 countries.

There seems to be a degree of uncertainty about what the task entails, particularly whether or not the main focus will be on plugging the Unilever corporate brand itself, just making it more obvious that the likes of Hellman’s and Dove are owned by the same company or simply trying to make all the sites look nicer and work better. Maybe it will be all three.

What’s certain is that this has the Weed mark on it; newish Unilever global CMO Keith Weed has been taking a combination of stick and carrot to the company’s numerous agencies and other communications suppliers.

Only last week he announced a global roster of TV production companies following hard on the heels of demanding that digital agencies partner more closely with traditional creative agencies.

You wonder what’s next, PR agencies? Maybe there’ll even be a cull of his big traditional agencies, which would be diverting.

Unilever’s digital agencies won’t be very happy though. Apparently they’re to be kept on for specific brand assignments (good news) but now they’ve got to fight their corner with Amaze as well as their ‘new’ agency partners.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.