Unilever selects new media chief

Unilever has raided one of its roster agencies to fill the post of worldwide media head. It has hired a director of the Network Europe, Alan Rutherford, to take over the role when the incumbent, Neil Welling, retires this summer.

Unilever has raided one of its roster agencies to fill the post of

worldwide media head. It has hired a director of the Network Europe,

Alan Rutherford, to take over the role when the incumbent, Neil Welling,

retires this summer.



Rutherford is set to move into his new position on 1 June, taking over

responsibility for Unilever’s pounds 2 billion global media spend

Unilever is the world’s third-largest advertiser after General Motors

and Procter & Gamble.



Rutherford’s Unilever brief includes co-ordinating worldwide media

strategy for the fmcg giant, overseeing its roster of media agencies

around the world and marshalling global media budgets.



Traditionally, Unilever’s policy has been to look for internal

candidates for such a key post before approaching outside executives.

However, Unilever is understood to have felt that a media practitioner

was more relevant to this particular role within the company. Welling,

whose official title was media member of the marketing project group, is

a former ITV salesman who joined Unilever from Grampian Television in

1990. Rutherford’s title has not yet been decided.



Rutherford is a former head of television buying at Ogilvy & Mather, and

joint media director with Mandy Pooler, now head of O&M’s new joint

venture media operation, MindShare.



In 1993, Pooler took over as sole media director and Rutherford was

moved into the Network Europe, taking charge of the IBM and Sony

accounts.



In recent years, Rutherford has worked on the Network Europe’s Sony

Playstation and Kodak accounts, with responsibility for helping to

develop new markets.



Rutherford’s experience in major European media markets, including the

UK, is understood to have attracted his new employer, although he has no

direct experience of emerging markets where Unilever’s competition

against P&G is still in its infancy.



Rutherford was unavailable for comment on his new post as Campaign went

to press, and Unilever refused to confirm that an appointment had been

made.



At the same time, P&G has appointed its own worldwide media director to

replace Darryl Simm, who moved to Omnicom as president of worldwide

media last month.



P&G has promoted Richard Wilson, currently vice-president of advertising

for P&G in Latin America, to vice-president of media for P&G Worldwide.



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