Unilever set to cut global marketing headcount by 12%

Keith Weed: Unilever's chief marketing and communication officer
Keith Weed: Unilever's chief marketing and communication officer

Unilever is to slash its global marketing headcount by 12%, in an effort to reduce business costs amid slowing growth in emerging markets.

Keith Weed, Unilever‘s chief marketing and communication officer, said at an investor presentation in London yesterday that the company would "step up in marketing in the future" by being more efficient and reducing spend on "non-working media" such as agency fees.

The FMCG giant revealed it expects to cut some 12% of its global marketing roles over the coming year, which is expected to result in the axing of around 800 positions. The Flora and Persil-owner will also cut its overall number of product variants by approximately 30% before the end of 2014.

Weed told investors Unilever would streamline its marketing operations into simpler set of processes, as well as helping to reduce costs by shifting more of its budget – currently projected at 15% – towards digital channels.

He added it was his goal to reduce spending on agency and production costs to around 20% of Unilever’s overall annual marketing budget.

Unilever could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press.

The news comes as the company rolls out its biggest Unilever-branded consumer campaign to date. The multimillion-pound initiative, called 'Project Sunlight', aims to promote the firm’s sustainability message to all its global markets.

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