The change in the FMCG giant's ad focus, which has resulted in around £60 million being removed from the TV market each year, was highlighted by the Unilever vice-president of global marketing, Alan Rutherford, in a speech at the Royal Television Society conference in Cambridge. Commenting on the decision to alter its marketing strategy, he said: "Advertisers have got to follow the viewers."
The news comes as ITV1 continues to suffer a decline in its audience share, with viewers defecting to rival channels and ad revenue falling as a result.
Unilever's overall spend on TV advertising has fallen from 80 per cent of its £300 million annual budget in 2000 to around 65 per cent today.
The company's largest single relationship campaign is Flora's sponsorship of the London Marathon.