Unilever Shuns Ad Giants, Hires BBH for Bertoli Global Business

25 April 2001

Anglo-Dutch food and household products giant Unilever may be sparking a trend – away from the dominance of global advertising networks in handling multinational brands.

The appointment of London and New York-based Bartle Bogle Hegarty to handle Unilever’s global Bertoli olive oil brand has surprised many in the ad industry as the shop lacks a worldwide presence.

It is, however, 49% owned by Bcom3 Group, and observers believe that the US conglomerate will represent the account in regions where BBH is absent. The shop already handles a number of Unilever food products in the UK and US.

It won the Bertoli business in a head-to-head with two other Unilever agencies – Interpublic’s McCann-Erickson Worldwide Advertising and WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide – both of which are members of the exclusive international ‘club’.

News source: New York Times