Unilever reacts to obesity threat

Unilever is closing in on a global PR agency hire as it attempts to confront the obesity issue across all its markets.

The pitch has come down to a finale between Edelman and Weber Shandwick, with Burson-Marsteller eliminated from the three-strong shortlist late last week.

A decision is expected in the next couple of weeks. The appointed agency will be charged with stemming the general tide of criticism of high fat content in foods as well as contributing to other communications initiatives for Unilever.

These are likely to include ensuring clearer, more comprehensive labelling of products’ ingredients.

Unilever unveiled plans to launch diet versions of its ice-cream brands late last year, including Magnum and Carte d’Or. Its other food brands include Flora, Hellmanns and SlimFast.

The PR agencies involved are understood to have drafted in expertise from their consumer, corporate and public affairs divisions to work on the pitch. A Unilever spokesman confirmed the status of the pitch.

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