NEW YORK Unilever has shifted U.S. duties on its Lipton-branded products from J. Walter Thompson in New York to DDB, sources said.
Omnicom Group's DDB, a Unilever roster shop, already handles Lipton's Side Dishes. The shop's New York office will now also handle Lipton teas and Lipton Brisk, which in years past was touted via Claymation renderings of celebrities. WPP Group's JWT will retain duties on Lipton in Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region.
"As Lipton Tea moves forward to revitalize the brand in the United States and Canada, we feel the time is right to consider a fresh point of view for new ideas on our consumer advertising strategy," Unilever said in a statement.
Ad spending on the account has dwindled since 2002, when Unilever spent about $50 million on both brands - about $30 million on Lipton teas and $20 million on Lipton Brisk iced tea, according to Nielsen Monitor Plus. Last year, Unilever spent about $10 million on ads for Lipton teas and about $1 million on the Lipton Brisk brand, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.
Calls to Unilever were not immediately returned. The agencies declined comment.