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Unilever media review boosts earnings

LONDON - Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever has revealed that a review of its worldwide media planning and buying operations has helped boost its overall advertising and promotional activities, as the company heads for double-digit earnings-per-share growth for 2001.

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The company, which owns brands such as Cif, Organics shampoo, Findus and Hellmann's, began the shake-up of its media activity in December 2000 when the company aligned the media account of its then recently acquired Best Foods division with the rest of its operations. It appointed Initiative Media to the division's £16m UK task, as well as the company's French account.

Unilever then consolidated its £483m US media planning and broadcast account -- which had previously been held by nine agencies -- into WPP Group-owned MindShare.

In May this year, it appointed Initiative Nota Bene to its £27.6m South African media work and its Thai media planning and buying account into Initiative Media.

Unilever made the announcement as it predicted that fourth-quarter earnings per share would grow 35% on the same period last year, helping the company's 2001 earnings-per-share growth reach low double-digit figures.

Unilever announces its full-year results for the 12 months to December 31 on February 14 2002.

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