Unilever is understood to be reviewing its Sure for Men TV advertising account, which was pulled out of Lowe Lintas and handed to HHCL & Partners less than ten months ago.
The company is believed to have asked both agencies to repitch for the Elida Fabergé brand which spends an estimated &£3m on TV advertising.
The move follows controversy over a TV ad created by HHCL, which was set in a factory staffed by scantily-dressed women. The Independent Television Commission received 36 complaints from people who believed it contained sexually-explicit imagery.
The ITC said that the ad – which had been passed by The Broadcast Advertising Clearance Centre – included sexual innuendo, but ruled that it was not explicit and rejected the complaints. It is not known whether this controversy has sparked the review.
This was the first time the brand had been advertised on TV since 1998, when Jonathan Ross starred in a commercial created by Ammirati Puris Lintas.
The Elida Farbergé account moved to Lowe when the agency merged with Ammirati Puris Lintas, but HHCL is understood to have been talking to Elida Fabergé before the merger was announced and won the TV work on the back of these negotiations.
Lowe retained overall responsibility for the main Sure brand.
No one was available for comment at Elida Fabergé as Marketing Week went to press.