Interpublic to Drop Lintas Name?

03 July 2001

Lever International Advertising Services? Now there’s a name to conjure with!

Or was – for the four decades when, as Lintas, it controlled Unilever’s advertising and media-buying strategy as the household products giant’s in-house advertising agency.

In 1982 Lintas was acquired from Unilever by SSC&B and transmogrified into SSC&B: Lintas Worldwide, later to reincarnate as Ammirati Puris Lintas following another merger. In 1999 it melded with Interpublic-owned Lowe Group, mislaying Ammirati and Puris in the process.

But in the first year of the twenty-first century Lowe Lintas & Partners, although still handling a goodly slice of Unilever business, believes the Lintas name conjures a stodgy image of household goods. Its excision, believe agency executives, would help fortify Lowe’s creative persona.

Accordingly, LL&P has asked parent Interpublic Group if it can airbrush out the Lintas name from its worldwide network of eighty offices. Unilever itself is unfazed by the plan: “It's not something that we would get hung up about. It's cosmetic to us and we realize that there are no sacred cows in branding any more," said Unilever spoke Steve Milton.

The rebranding proposal is undergoing evaluation by the Interpublic board, group chief executive John Dooner confirmed on Friday.

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