What a nice client Unilever must be: just when BBH was reeling from swingeing cutbacks in its New York office the consumer goods giant has given it the global Dove Men+Care account, to be handled out of London and New York. Losing agency Ogilvy (which launched Dove and still handles the much larger women’s business) might take a different view of course.
The win is doubly important for BBH. It gives New York some much-needed revenue and it also seems to reaffirm Unilever’s commitment to BBH in the wake of Publicis Groupe’s outright purchase of the agency following the decision by founders Nigel Bogle, John Hegarty and others to sell their shares to their long-time minority partner.
PG is rival Procter & Gamble’s main agency group and there were fears that 100 per cent ownership of BBH might push Unilever into calling time on the relationship (one of BBH’s biggest accounts is Unilever’s Axe/Lynx).
Unilever, of course, will be more aware than ever that it needs a top hotshop in its armoury. P&G has recently been giving chunks of business to Wieden+Kennedy, BBH’s long-time rival in the global creative stakes.