In line with its declared plan to focus on core brands, Anglo-Dutch multinational fmcg giant Unilever yesterday announced plans to review the advertising strategies of all major food brands.

It is estimated that the exercise will cost hundreds of millions of dollars and have a major impact on the ad networks servicing the group's brands, among them the Bestfoods portfolio acquired earlier this year.

An official statement explained: “Following Unilever's brand focus exercise and the addition of [Bestfoods’] Knorr and Hellmann’s brands to the portfolio, the savory and salad category teams are reviewing the agency alignment on their priority brands to channel the experience and resources of their agencies more effectively. Brands will be reassigned to the current main agency partners on the basis of global or regional alignments.”

Among the networks under Unilever’s spotlight are BBDO Worldwide, DDB Worldwide, Lowe Lintas & Partners World-wide, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide and J Walter Thompson. Decisions are expected early in 2001.

The announcement follows this week’s $575 million media planning/buying consolidation with WPP’s MindShare in the USA [WAMN: 30-Nov-00].

News source: Advertising Age - Daily Deadline