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Bartle Bogle Hegarty hedges bet on Unilever with £25m Old El Paso from General Mills

One of the things that intrigued pundits when Bartle Bogle Hegarty sold all of itself to part-owner Publicis Groupe recently was, how will this play with key client Unilever?

Publicis Groupe is Procter & Gamble’s lead agency worldwide so there’s an obvious conflict.

Unilever clearly loves BBH to pieces but business is business.

Now BBH has won General Mills-owned Old El Paso’s £25m global account, another conflict with Unilever. BBH’s big Unilever account is Axe deodorant (Lynx in the UK although Lynx looks as though it’s on the way out) although it also handles Vaseline. Neither of which are food brands of course.

But, at the very least, BBH is unlikely to win any more Unilever business thanks its PG connection so General Mills, the old-style US food company from Minneapolis that also owns Betty Crocker, Green Giant, Pillsbury and Yoplait, is a pretty decent hedge.

General Mills also owns Haagen-Daz ice cream which BBH did some famous ads for way back when.

But BBH is still coming up with the goods for Axe, with this New York effort featuring (briefly) Kiefer Sutherland (and lost love ‘Susan Glenn’) in 24 mode.

But what if you haven’t seen 24?

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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.
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