Unilever has completed its search for a roster of global digital agencies and has appointed four shops to work across all its brands. Tribal DDB, OgilvyOne, MRM Worldwide and Dare all take places on the new roster.
The agencies will adopt preferred supplier status on global digital strategy and development, including activity such as online advertising, search, podcasts, 3G mobile, MP3 and websites. It is believed that the brand and category marketing teams will decide whether agencies will have to pitch for each brief.
The review was conducted by Unilever's digital director, Caroline Slootweg. She leads a centralised digital marketing unit that advises category and brand teams on their digital strategies.
The roster agencies will also have agency-of-choice status for implementation of strategy in local markets, but individual marketing departments will retain the final say on which local agency they choose.
Each of the chosen agencies has worked on Unilever brands before. Tribal DDB has created work for Marmite, OgilvyOne for Knorr, MRM for Birds Eye and Dare for Lynx. All four are also linked to one of the FMCG giant's roster ad agencies: Tribal DDB through its relationship with DDB, OgilvyOne is aligned to Ogilvy & Mather, MRM Worldwide through McCann Erickson, and Dare is backed by Bartle Bogle Hegarty.
A Unilever spokesman said: "We intend to take a common approach on our global and regional brands, allowing flexibility for local adaptation within a harmonised platform."
The review is separate from the recently completed UK roster review, conducted by Rachel Bristow, the head of direct communications and new media in the UK. The review saw Unilever's UK digital and DM roster cut from more than 20 agencies to seven.