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Unilever to cut 800 marketing roles despite targeting billion dollar brands growth

Unilever’s decision to cut its individual products by 30 per cent as part of an efficiency drive is set to have widespread impact on the global consumer company’s marketing divisions, with a 12 per cent cut targeted, thought to impact over 800 roles.

The company’s plans were presented during an investment relations day in London yesterday, by chief marketing officer Keith Weed, who has revealed a new strategy that is expected to see as many as 840 marketing jobs shed as a result.

It is expected that the global marketing team of around 7,000 would shed jobs within developed markets as more collaboration by its teams around the world is introduced.

The presentation, entitled Taking Marketing to the Next Level’ revealed that the streamlining would concentrate on six core marketing processes; marketing insight, category and brand strategy, brand marketing plans, innovation/renovation, communications and in-market brand management, execution, tracking and optimisation.

Weed also highlighted plans to grow from Unilever owning 11 to 15 billion Euro brands such as Knorr, Magnum, Lux, Dove, Surf, Axe and Hellman’s. He revealed a 30 per cent increase in innovation investment by the end of the third quarter of this year from 2011 and a 41 per cent growth in innovation testing at the same time, however he also revealed that development time had fallen from 15 months to 10 months as well.

The strategy is also likely to see agency fees squeezed, with AdAge reporting that chief marketing officer Jean-Marc Huet explained that it was seeking to make $470m in marketing savings this year.

Weed spoke to The Drum in September, where he discussed the power of mobile and the impact that he saw it having on marketing.

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