Multinational food and household products giant Unilever has awarded the bulk of its US media planning and broadcast buying to WPP’s MindShare.

The account - which includes Unilever’s most recent acquisition, Bestfoods - is valued at an estimated $575 million annually. Previously, it was shared between nine media shops, among them MindShare and Initiative Media, the former incumbent for national and local TV buying.

The review, which excluded the SlimFast and Ben & Jerry's brands, began exactly twelve months ago. Among those slugging it out with MindShare were Interpublic’s Initiative Media and Omnicom’s Optimum Media Direction.

Declared vp of Unilever US Media, Brad Simmons: "Our goal was to make our significant investment in brand communications work harder. Consolidation will provide a seamless linkage as we move from broad marketing communications mix planning, through strategic media planning to tactical implementation."

The account switches are targeted for completion by March 1.

News source: Advertising Age - Daily Deadline