Unilever triggers Birds Eye pan-European ad review

Unilever is understood to be reviewing its multimillion pound European advertising business for its Birds Eye brand with a view to consolidating the account into one agency. It uses McCann-Erickson, Lowe, Ogilvy & Mather and JWT.

Unilever is understood to be reviewing its multimillion pound European advertising business for its Birds Eye brand with a view to consolidating the account into one agency. It uses McCann-Erickson, Lowe, Ogilvy & Mather and JWT.

The Haystack Group is handling the review.

The review is part of a strategy to cut costs in the frozen food business while Unilever seeks a buyer for the company, which may be sold as a whole or broken up across different countries. The Birds Eye brand is known as Iglo in some European countries.

The review does not affect Bartle Bogle Hegarty, which handles the account in the UK and has recently launched a &£21m campaign promoting the quality of frozen food.

It is understood that the bulk of the advertising outside the UK is held by McCann, but all four agencies have been invited to pitch. The company is not planning to speak to outside agencies about the account.

Unilever is selling off all its frozen food portfolio except its interests in Italy, which has strong sales. It also has interests in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the UK.

Germany is understood to be the largest market for Birds Eye in mainland Europe, and is thought to receive the majority of the advertising spend.

Birds Eye is also the number one food brand in the UK and has a turnover of over &£500m a year and accounts for &£50m profits.

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