Scoop: Hindustan Unilever planing to change media planning and buying agency ?

Advertising Industry sources say India’s largest fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) company, Hindustan Unilever (HUL), is considering a change of its media planning and buying agency. The incumbent agency is Mindshare, a WPP group company in India.

The move , sources say , is a result of the global review being undertaken by the Anglo Dutch parent company, Unilever. The company has undergone operational changes in the past four to five years which include a rising strategic focus on growth in emerging and developing markets and the introduction of the ‘One Unilever’ programme.

HUL have invited WPP, Omnicom and Interpublic to give a new pitch and may consider more agencies also.
A spokesperson for the company, says, “We don’t discard the possibility of inviting one other agency to pitch, but that hasn’t been confirmed,”

HUL spent a sum of Rs.1,647 crore towards advertising and promotional (A&P) expenses. The other countries where media buying and planning is up for review include Asia, Africa and Central & Eastern Europe (AACE). The company is also doing this in Argentina, Mexico, North America, the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands.

Explaining the reason for change, the Unilever spokesperson also said, “As part of the ‘One Unilever’ programme, introduced in 2005, Unilever has been steadily streamlining its operations. One of the most recent changes (in 2008) has been merging Home & Personal Care and Foods into a single category structure, with Vindi Banga now heading up all category and brand development. Some other operational changes, whichreflect the company’s strategic focus on growth in developing markets, have meant that Central & Eastern Europe are now managed within an enlarged region comprising AACE.”

The company did not mention as to when the process would be completed.

The spokesperson concluded, saying, “We don’t want to communicate a deadline, as these processes occasionally take longer than originally planned, and this can lend itself to speculation”

Source: Bombay Adclub

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