Unilever drops O&M in reshuffle

Unilever has dropped Ogilvy & Mather from its international laundry detergent roster and will split the agency’s accounts, worth an estimated 15m, between J Walter Thompson and Ammirati Puris Lintas.

Unilever has dropped Ogilvy & Mather from its international laundry detergent roster and will split the agency’s accounts, worth an estimated 15m, between J Walter Thompson and Ammirati Puris Lintas.

The realignment does not affect the US, where O&M retains the Surf account. But in the UK, O&M loses its 3m Radion business. Decisions on realigning other brands will be taken in local markets.

Unilever’s international detergent billings are worth 160m, and the latest move leaves APL with 60 per cent and JWT with 40 per cent of the spend. Brands include Persil, Surf, Omo and Skip.

Unilever says the aim of the move is to “derive increased benefits of focus and scale.” A spokesman describes it as a tidying-up operation designed to simplify agency arrangements.

The move is the responsibility of Theo Rodrigues, Unilever’s senior vice-president for laundry.

The realignment is another blow to O&M, which has lost lead agency status on the Ford account to Young & Rubicam (MW July 16) and may lose 18m of Shell International business to JWT (MW July 16). It has also been forced to split the launch of Unilever unisex toiletries range product Physio Sport with TBWA GGT (MW May 28).

In a separate move, O&M has won the 600,000 account from the Department of Health to promote the carrying of donor cards. It fought off competition from Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe, DMB&B and Young & Rubicam.

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