Mindshare wins $80m Unilever account

By By Prue Corlette | 4 February 2011

Unilever has awarded its $80 million media planning and buying account to Mindshare after a three-way pitch involving Initiative and PHD.

Mindshare already handles the business in a number of other markets, including North America and the UK. Agencies were briefed by the client before Christmas and pitched in late January.

The pitch kicked off in December last year after the FMCG split with 10-year incumbent agency UM amid a conflict with its L'Oreal client, as first reported by AdNews.

Unilever's Sunsilk haircare brand is a direct competitor with several L'Oreal haircare brands.

At the time, Unilever media controller, Michelle Katz said: "Unilever is undertaking a review of its Australian media planning, strategy and buying relationship.

"We have had a long and successful partnership with UM, but have taken the decision to align the business in Australia with one of the agencies in Unilever's global network."

Rumours circulated last month that Martin Sorrell, CEO of the WPP Group, Mindshare's parent company, was in Australia for the pitch. WPP sources denied the speculation.

Unilever spent $80.6 million on media in the 12 months to November, up from $61 million in the prior period.

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