Unilever has moved its estimated &£20m Surf advertising business out of Lowe in the UK and certain European markets. Roster agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) has scooped the account.
It is the second time this year that the account has been up for grabs (MW March 6). Earlier this year, Unilever asked Mother to pitch for Surf’s advertising business, but Lowe managed to retain the brief. Unilever insiders say that the agency failed to impress with its subsequent advertising for the laundry brand.
In the UK the business is worth &£8m. Lowe has also lost the account in France and Romania, although it will retain the business elsewhere in Europe. The decision will come as a shock to the agency, as Unilever is one of its key clients.
Lowe most recently created a &£4m television campaign that gives viewers the chance to vote on which celebrity should star in the ads, featuring Uri Geller, Jordan and Keith Harris and Orville. The agency also created the Surf “99 stains” campaign.
The decision is another important piece of Unilever business for BBH, which picked up the global account for Lynx/Axe deodorant last year (MW August 29, 2002). The agency also handles Unilever’s Impulse deodorant and the Bertolli spread range.