J. Walter Thompson has been charged with revitalising the image of
Mercury Asset Management, the investment company which is currently
being sued for pounds 100 million by Unilever’s pension fund.
JWT is thought to have been working on projects with MAM over the last
few months, a relationship which is expected to result, after a series
of presentations, in the agency being rewarded with the whole
MAM, which spent pounds 2 million last year through DMB&B Financial, is
owned by Merrill Lynch, another JWT client.
The investment company is expected to increase its budget to as much as
pounds 10 million next year, at a time when the pensions and investment
industry is increasingly important to consumers charged with making
provisions for their own futures.
JWT will be expected to create a hard-hitting campaign in order to
restore faith in MAM. Stephen Carter, the chief executive of the agency,
was unavailable for comment.
Unilever’s pounds 100 million law suit is thought to be the first time a
UK fund manager has faced court action over its handling of a
Unilever Superannuation Fund, the UK pension fund of the Anglo-Dutch
household products giant, claims that MAM negligently failed to take
sufficient account of the risk of under-performance in its management of
the fund’s portfolio.
MAM’s advertising for the past two years, through DMB&B Financial, has
focused on press executions in major financial publications.