A spokeswoman for Unilever confirmed the news: "As has been reported, Unilever is in the process of undertaking a global media review".
Unilever’s current media partners include Mindshare in parts of Europe, including the UK, North America, and Africa, Interpublic’s Initiative in Latin America, some European countries and Russia, and PHD in Asia and the rest of Europe.
In addition, PHD handles the global comms planning for personal care, food, drink and homecare brands after picking up the work in the previous pitch. Initiative also has the comms planning business for Persil and Domestos.
The company works with a range of advertising agencies including Bartle Bogle Hegarty, Lowe and Partners and Adam & Eve/DDB.
Unilever global media director Alper Eroglu recently spoke about Unilever's ambition to "think like a startup", via its ideas hothouse The Foundry, which aims to invest in new technologies and ideas.
Global adspend for the company reached about $8.3 billion in 2014.
Unilever’s chief financial officer, Jean-Marc Huet, told investors in a presentation on 20 January that media spend would continue to increase at the expense of agency and production costs, reducing from 24 per cent to 20 per cent of overall spend between 2014 an 2012.