Unilever sets up agency training

Unilever is setting up training courses for senior agency staff and enrolling around 100 of its UK ad agency executives to sharpen the competitive edge of the consumer goods firm.

Unilever is setting up training courses for senior agency staff and

enrolling around 100 of its UK ad agency executives to sharpen the

competitive edge of the consumer goods firm.



The plan, which also involves training 1500 of its own middle- to

senior-level executives, is to build more consumer research into

advertising strategies.



Chairman Niall FitzGerald is keen for the company’s pounds 2.2bn global

ad budget to be spent more carefully as Unilever anticipates a drop in

revenue from recession.



This will mean Unilever managing its marketing effort in a similar way

to arch-rival Procter & Gamble, well known for its research-led

advertising.



The programme is designed to improve ad effectiveness. Recent Unilever

ads have stressed product benefits more heavily. Campaigns such as

Ammirati Puris Lintas’ work for Flora have been designed to link with

sponsorship, in Flora’s case with the London Marathon.



Approximately 100 UK executives from Unilever’s worldwide roster

agencies, Ogilvy & Mather, J Walter Thompson, APL and BBDO Worldwide

will be expected to attend training sessions.



Michael Brockbank, Unilever’s vice-president of advertising, told

Marketing that the project will be introduced in the first quarter of

next year as a training programme.



He said that the company has been reviewing the way it works and, ’while

we are not reading the riot act’ to agencies, wants to improve the speed

with which it gets its ads to market and their quality.



A major element of the programme will include ’improved quality control’

checks between marketing departments and agencies, to get the two to

work closer together, said the source.



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