Spanish agency Lola MullenLowe has won Unilever’s PG Tips business, fighting off strong UK competition from adam&eveDDB and Ogilvy. Incumbent Mother pulled out in December.
Lola does some fine global work for Unilever’s ice cream brands Magnum and Cornetto, and also handles its Brooke Bond tea, so we can’t just blame Brexit for the move out of the UK.
You can buy PG Tips at the big supermarkets in Spain and there are plenty of Brits at Lola to advise on tea culture, but it would be a challenge for any agency to match PG Tips’ advertising heritage.
Mother did a decade of great work with Monkey and before that, DDB’s legendary chimpanzees lasted 40 years. It would have been a sweet victory for adam&eveDDB to win back the account, especially as the agency has done so well for Unilever’s Lipton tea in the US.
PG Tips was worth £10 million when Mother won it in 2006, but won’t spend a fraction of that now, especially with Unilever shrinking budgets in a bid to cut costs after the aborted Kraft Heinz takeover bid last year.
But Unilever’s media spend is apparently going up, and Lola MullenLowe has proved with Magnum (and its Halloween Scary Clowns campaign for Burger King) that it knows how to get the most out of a budget, so the PG Tips creative tradition might continue after all.