WPP’s Mindshare is reported to have kept its $1.4bn Unilever media business in the US in the first stage to be completed of the consumer goods giant’s review of its global media account, worth $6bn in all.
The spotlight now falls on Omicom’s PHD which handles most Unilever media in markets outside the US. WPP will be pushing hard for Unilever to consolidate all its media into Mindshare (or another combination of WPP media agencies) and, as cost reduction is a big factor here, as in the recent General Motors $3bn media review, is now in the box seat.
PHD, although it had a strong close to 2011 in terms of new business, is much smaller than its Omnicom sibling OMD and it’s likely that Omnicom will put forward a proposition based on using OMD in some markets. Last year PHD celebrated its 21st birthday by winning $1.4bn GSK and retaining $300m Gap in the US.
In the US Mindshare, under new North America CEO Antony Young, is heavily embroiled in the start of the TV ‘upfront’ negotiations on Unilever’s behalf so there was pressure on Unilever to hasten the conclusion of this part of its protracted media review.