JWT set to win brief to bolster Unilever pensions company

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.

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

business.



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

portfolio.



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.



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