WPP the winner in massive Unilever media review

WPP has likely landed its biggest win of the year with the lion’s share of Unilever’s massive £6bn plus media budget, being re-appointed to Unilver’s business in most of the world including adding some markets.

Omnicom’s PHD won Austria, Germany and Switzerland, Canada, North Africa, the Middle East and Turkey from WPP, and Havas Media won France.

Big advertisers review media routinely these days but this is Unilever’s first major review since 2015. Unilever is reported to be centralising all media functions in one agency in each market rather than, for example, separating planning and buying .

WPP’s GroupM collection of media agencies was the standout performer in WPP’s first half 2021 performance and the Unilever win will keep it motoring nicely. Last year GroupM’s Mindshare won Unilever in China.

Former Unilever CMO Keith Weed is now a non-executive at WPP, which can’t have hurt its case. He will certainly have known what its priorities are. Weed is now President of Britain’s Royal Horticultural Society, nominative determinism in action.

Unilever had a good pandemic with a massive increase in sales although household products will, presumably, slow down a bit as life returns slowly to normal.

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About Stephen Foster

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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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