Lowe Adds Knorr Overseas

NEW YORK Lowe has landed creative duties on Unilever’s Knorr brand in Europe, Latin America and the Asia-Pacific region, the Interpublic Group shop said today.

The business is shifting from WPP Group’s JWT, which has worked on Knorr since 2001. Account revenue is estimated at $5-7 million.

The shift comes eight months after Unilever hired Lowe to handle global projects on Knorr.

The agency’s London office will spearhead the assignment.

“This underscores how we deliver for a client that has needs globally,” Lowe worldwide CEO Stephen Gatfield said today. “It’s an important demonstration of our ability to work as a global team.”

In a statement, Silvia Lagnado, Unilever’s group vp for savory products, thanked JWT for its “hard work” on the brand and said Lowe has delivered “fresh ideas on the global projects we have worked on together and I am excited about the prospect of working with them on a broader basis going forward.”

The handoff from JWT will be completed in the first quarter of 2009, according to Unilever.

Creative duties on Knorr in the rest of the world — in North America, Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, Africa and the Middle East — remain at Omnicom Group’s DDB.

JWT, which continues to handle Unilever brands such as Sunsil, Lux, Radiant and Timotei, declined to comment. But in an internal e-mail to staffers, JWT worldwide CEO Bob Jeffrey wrote: “We have worked vigorously at making this brand successful and we are very proud of what we have accomplished for Knorr. Today, Knorr is a brand that has been growing for the past three years around 6-7 percent [annually], and this would not have been possible without JWT.

“Despite these efforts, the client has made their decision. We need to look forward and move on with the same level of passion and commitment.”