Unilever has announced a partnership with WPP that will see the network's agencies work with the startups under the FMCG’s giant's Foundry programme in Singapore.
Unilever hopes the collaboration will lay the foundations for the marketing services ecosystem of the future and bring key external marketing expertise, in-house.
David Porter, Unilever’s vice-president of media for Asia, Africa and Russia said the partnership was an "in-sourcing" model, adding that the group was "looking at a number of was to bring external marketing services closer" to Unilever staff.
The move from Unilever to work with WPP comes amid ongoing agency cuts in the FMCG space. Last year alone, Unilever was able to invest an additional €250m into media buying and in-store advertising after slashing the number of agencies it worked with and bringing certain elements of its marketing mix in-house.
The fresh collaboration will now see the likes of Ogilvy, Mindshare and Wunderman, work alongside startups, such like Celtra, Unruly and Viddsee at Unilever’s Level3 co-working space in Singapore.
It will be led by Sudipto Roy, managing director for media and data, and Team Unilever for Asia, Africa, Russia.
“We have taken a fresh approach to the ‘Team WPP’ design. Instead of designing around the brand or the category, we have designed around capabilities and intelligence in order to solve business problem,” explained Roy.
“We have access to cutting edge technology and new products across every pillar of the Unilever marketing framework through the startup community in Unilever Foundry. We look forward to collaborating with them to deliver breakthrough models, communications and consumer connections products.”
Unilever Foundry also unveiled a new advisory board for Level3 in April, naming the likes of Rajan Anandan, vice-president of Southeast Asia and India at Google, Daryl Arnold, chairman of Newton Circus, Maximillian Bittner, founder and advisor of Lazada as new board members.