Tim Davis, chairman of J Walter Thompson UK and global business director on the Unilever and Shell global accounts, has been designated by WPP Group as key worldwide account co-ordinator for Unilever – in response to a hint first dropped by the client nearly five years ago [WAMN: 01-Jul-97].

Two years later, chairman Niall Fitzgerald spelled out that Unilever, the world’s largest advertiser after P&G [depending on which set of estimates you believe], aimed to scale down its TV advertising – some 80% of its total adspend – in favor of comprehensive communication channel-planning

Conceding that his new role is a challenge, Davis opined: “I think it will evolve and become more tangible as time goes by. We're trying to respond in a proactive way to an emerging agenda from the client. Unilever is looking more and more for advice and support in areas outside advertising and [expecting] agencies help them in an integrated way across the full spectrum.”

Unilever, which budgets to invest 15% of annual revenues in marketing, spent $5.7 billion in 2000 against income of $41.7 billion.

Davis will operate in concert with Lionel Godfrey, worldwide client services director for Unilever at WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, whose responsibilities are unchanged.

News source: AdAge Global