Dutch TV Channels Unite to Fight Unilever on Ad Rates

19 July 2005

Dutch ad trade weekly Adformatie has revealed rising tension between the main Dutch TV channels and household products giant Unilever Netherlands . Also involved in the standoff is the latter's media agency, WPP Group's MindShare.

The source of the friction is the issue of ad rates, negotiated significantly southerly by MindShare in 2004. Word is that the agency, backed by its mighty client, is demanding even deeper concessions - to which the TV channels are chorusing in unison word gevuld.

For which the polite translation is 'No way, José'.

Of Holland's major channels, Unilever has not advertised on SBS Broadcasting after failing to agree rates in March and June; likewise relationships between the client/agency and de Ster, the sales house for the Dutch public broadcasting system, are in dire need of a defibrillator; while RTL Nederland's sales house IP is also reportedly daggers drawn with the adbuying duo.

Adformatie also reveals that the tense situation has affected the position of Harry Dekker, Unilever's local media manager, now reportedly "under pressure" as a result of the standoff.

Data sourced from mandmeurope.com; additional content by WARC staff