UK Unilever subsidiary Lever Fabergé is in talks with ad agency Mother over updating Surf’s brand image, in a move likely to undermine the company’s relationship with incumbent agency Lowe.
Mother, which is a Lever Fabergé roster agency, and Lowe are to pitch for the &£6.7m detergent business.
Last year Mother was awarded the Organics haircare business. The agency also took the Unilever Bestfoods’ I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter spread business from HHCL & Partners at the start of the year.
Insiders suggest that Surf’s advertising, which included the TV ad featuring Birds of a Feather stars Pauline Quirke and Linda Robson, has not been working well for Surf and that the packaged goods giant is looking to refresh the brand.
Lowe’s most recent advertising for Surf includes the “99 stains” TV and press ads, which list the top 99 stains that Surf claims to remove.
A Lever Fabergé spokeswoman says : “These are exciting times for Surf and we are looking for a challenging vehicle to take the brand forward into its next phase.” But she insists that the review of the Surf account is “no reflection” on Lowe.
The detergent brand was turned into a “power brand” in 2000, when Unilever axed Radion and merged it into Surf.
Two years later, the company promoted Gail Klintworth, category director of South African home care and new business development for personal care, to Surf’s first global brand director (MW March 7, 2002).