As predicted earlier this week [WAMN: 25-Feb-02], Unilever has put its £140 million ($198.9m; €229.2m) UK media planning and buying business up for review.

The consumer products giant runs its UK media shops through the spectroscope every three years as a matter of course. Currently the lion’s share (95%) of the business – a cornucopia of brands ranging from Persil through Fabergé to Blue Band Margarine and Brooke Bond Tea – is held by Initiative Media, the remainder by Carat.

In the initial phase of the review by Unilever’s UK marketing committee only these two shops will be under scrutiny, although it may subsequently be widened to include other agencies. Says committee chairman (and Birds Eye Wall’s business director) Chris Pomfret: “The UK assessment … has been planned for some months and is not a result of any dissatisfaction with our results. To the contrary we enjoy very strong relationships with both Initiative Media and Carat.”

On a global basis, Initiative handles around 70% of Unilever’s media business, Mindshare has 25% and Carat undertakes planning for Birds Eye Wall’s.

Data sourced from: Media Week (UK); additional content by WARC staff