Between the Lines: Recognising below the line

The completion of Unilever's direct and digital UK roster review indicates the FMCG giant is starting to get its act together in recognising the potential of what these disciplines can offer (page 3).

One roster which mixes and matches direct and digital agencies is a clear sign of the way the world is going. Direct and digital agencies are increasingly finding that they are encroaching on each other's territory and it is clear that in the future this will happen more and more.

In formalising its relationship with agencies, Unilever is showing that it has grasped how below-the-line channels not only deepen, but build, relationships between its brands and customers.

Procter & Gamble has made much noise about concentrating more of its huge advertising budget below the line, and has recently begun to establish a global digital roster. Unilever is also in the throes of creating its own roster of digital agencies. Although the extent of the possibilities these channels can provide is not yet clear, it can't be long before other companies follow in their footsteps.