Lowe Picks Up More Unilever

NEW YORK Unilever has consolidated global creative duties on its oral care brands in Asia, Latin America and Africa at Interpublic Group’s Lowe, the client confirmed today.

Billings on the business, which includes brands such as Close Up, Pepsodent and Signal, were not disclosed. Sources, however, pegged billings at $50 million.

Previously, creative duties were split between Lowe and WPP Group’s JWT, with a sliver at WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather, said sources. It was not immediately clear how much new billings Lowe gained. The agency referred calls the client, which declined to discuss spending.

The additional business comes as Lowe seeks to rebound from client losses—such as the $80 million Tesco account in London—and reinvent itself as a smaller, creatively driven agency with global reach.

Unilever’s consolidation is said to be part of its ongoing drive to establish global strategic platforms for bigger brands and name lead agencies for each. A client representative said both Lowe and JWT were considered for the business.

“This will mean considerable simplification with the Close Up, Pepsodent and Signal brands now being supported by Lowe,” the rep said, in a statement. “This decision has no implications for Unilever’s European oral care business” at Publicis Groupe-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

In October, in another example of Unilever’s global initiative, BBH was named lead strategic and creative agency on its Omo detergent line, though Lowe kept pieces of the business in Latin America, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Omo’s global spending is estimated at $250 million.