Unilever has handed its digital media planning and buying brief for the GCC to PHD following a competitive pitch.
The win is PHD’s biggest ever in the region and builds on its global relationship with Unilever, with the company having appointed PHD to handle the bulk of its global communication planning in October 2012.
Unilever, which handles much of its traditional buying and planning in-house and in collaboration with Magna, has previously handled digital buying through other agencies such as Clique Media and Connect Ads on an adhoc basis. It is the first time Unilever has consolidated its digital brief into a single agency.
Asad ur Rehman, director of media for North Africa and the Middle East at Unilever, confirmed the appointment, stating that it was part of Unilever’s plan to build its digital presence and strength in the region. “PHD’s proposition was superior to everybody else,” said Rehman. “They are also our global comms partner. They were able to leverage quite a lot of those strings to bring them into this market, which gave them the edge.
“Our global goal is to be the best marketing company in the world. We’re not there yet, but that’s our ambition and that’s what we want to strive for. And similarly our ambition is to be the best digital marketing company in the region. We’ve started on a journey purely based on capabilities and vision, and of course PHD has a remit specific to brand, categories and business and to improve our digital footprint in the region, but we also want to make sure that we do more pioneering digital in the region.”
Elda Choucair, managing director of PHD UAE, said: “A company of the scale and ambition of Unilever can only operate with the most exacting standards and expectations. We are thrilled that they have seen the value of our consistent efforts to make PHD a digitally focused media agency. We are super-charged by this new assignment and are already developing ideas to make the difference on the ground.”