Unilever enlists Edelman to run Hispanic programs

CHICAGO: Unilever, which is launching an Hispanic PR program for six of its personal-care products, has hired Edelman's diversity practice as AOR for Hispanic marketing for these brands.

CHICAGO: Unilever, which is launching an Hispanic PR program for six of its personal-care products, has hired Edelman's diversity practice as AOR for Hispanic marketing for these brands.

Edelman will work on Hispanic media outreach and event marketing for Dove, Finesse, Suave, Caress, Vaseline Intensive Care, and Pond's.

Edelman already is AOR for Unilever's Axe, Dove, and Finesse brands, so the personal-care products maker was familiar with the agency's capabilities, said Allison Harmon, PR manager for Unilever's hair and deodorant category in Chicago.

Unilever met with Edelman's diversity solutions practice representatives and found that "they're candid; they tell you what they think," said Harmon. "We don't work with 'yes' people. We start our agency relationship by saying, 'Tell us like it is.'"

Edelman's team "had ideas at their presentation before we even briefed them," she said.

Harmon said that while Edelman's diversity practice is run from New York City, she expects staffers from offices across the country to work on the six brands involved, particularly as Unilever develops local market activities for them to reach Hispanic consumers.

Harmon declined to discuss planned spending on Hispanic outreach for the brands.

Unilever, a UK-based company, owns brands ranging from Slim-Fast and Hellmann's to Lipton and a number of grooming products.

Edelman launched its diversity practice in 1998. It now has 25 staffers in New York, Miami, Chicago, Washington, and LA, and has worked for such clients as Johnson & Johnson, AT&T Wireless and Schering-Plough.

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