JWT in Global Lead on Knorr

NEW YORK Unilever has confirmed that JWT is leading global efforts on its Knorr brand, after sources said that the WPP Group shop had landed a global branding assignment on Knorr.

Regionally, however, Knorr continues to use two shops: JWT, which handles the brand in Europe, Asia and Latin America, and Omnicom Group’s DDB, which represents it in North America and Africa, according to a Unilever representative.

Global major measured media spending on Knorr totaled nearly $200 million last year and about $125 million through August 2007, according to Nielsen Global AdView. The U.S. ad spend totaled $25 million last year and $15 million through August, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Sources said that both JWT and DDB were considered for the global assignment. When asked about the task, the Unilever rep responded indirectly in an e-mail that confirmed JWT’s global role, which the rep said began last year.

“JWT has had a central team based in London that works with the Unilever global Knorr team, primarily on strategic communication challenges and select projects,” the rep wrote. “Although it is part of our normal process to occasionally ask for two points of view on specific launches and line extensions, essentially JWT has led on global co-ordination and global projects.”

Reached by phone today, the rep had no details on the latest global assignment, such as the projected budget and expected launch date.

Knorr’s seasonings, pasta sauce, bouillon and soups are part of Unilever’s Best Foods division.