The FMCG giant is believed to be in talks with sales house Digital Media Sales, which sells TV advertising at a low cost of entry through its portfolio of digital channels.
Unilever is understood to be trialling DMS's recently launched Cross Broadcast Solution, which offers advertising packages across digital TV, digital outdoor, the internet and mobile. The company owns 40 brands in the UK, many of which have not received above-the-line marketing support for years.
DMS handles the advertising on digital TV channels including abc1, Classic FM TV, Poker Zone and Real Estate TV.
A deal with DMS could lead to brands such as Adez, Bovril, Cornetto, Scottish Blend and Surf appearing on screen, according to agency sources.
Brands using DMS as an advertising outlet rely on their creative agencies to produce advertising material that can work across different media. They then bypass their media agencies and deal with DMS directly.
DMS also offers inventory in taxis, restaurants and bars and bus stops. The range of websites on which DMS controls advertising includes The Baby Channel, Beauty Zone TV, Holiday-TV.com and Martial Arts TV.
DMS would not comment and Unilever was unavailable for comment as Media Week went to press.