Unilever's outgoing CMO, Simon Clift, said in an interview with the Financial Times that he believes the PR industry is well-equipped to capitalize on the rise of social media, rather than ad agencies. From the FT:
Mr Clift said: “There is a lost generation of marketeers.
“If you are 25 or 20, you know this stuff – you are brought up with Facebook and YouTube. If you are 50, you see your kids do it. Most of our brands are managed by people who have had to learn it.” ...
PR agencies are taking an early lead in the social-media world, Mr Clift said. “PR used to be considered the poor relation of advertising. I think you could argue that word of mouth has always been the most effective form of communication. Digital PR is like word of mouth on steroids.”
Clift joined Unilever in the early 1980s, and was appointed its first CMO in 2008. Keith Weed took over the role on April 1. Weed is also overseeing the communications function.
Unilever's US agencies include Edelman, Golin Harris, Fleishman-Hillard, and Ogilvy.